Rhinelander High School senior Darin Bloomquist earned the Wisconsin High School Bowling Club (HSBC) boys' single championship at Weston on Sunday morning out of 94 total bowlers. It also marked Rhinelander's first bowler to win a high school state title after he cruised to a 193-172 victory at Dale's Weston Lanes over No. 3 seed, Austin Est of Sun Prairie in the championship match.
Bloomquist was the top seed and would score a combined 1,339 throughout the six games in the qualification rounds Friday and Saturday night. He would start strong and was in second place after a 665 series (233, 195, and 237) on the opening night. Zach Thomas of Middleton was in first after Friday night with a 671, six points ahead of Bloomquist.
After the bowling field was cut down to 24 semifinalists, Bloomquist finished Saturday night with a 674 series to propel him into first place, and top qualifier in the five who advanced to the finals. Bloomquist would hold a three-pin advantage even after shooting a 202 in the semifinals. He would then have a bye after earning the top seed for the finals to set up the championship match.
In the final match, Bloomquist finished with five strikes and four spares to cruise to the Wisconsin High School boys' title. Est had an open frame in the second, which would give Bloomquist the lead, and he would never look back. Bloomquist had a nine-pin advantage going into the 10th and final frame and Est was unable to strike out and Bloomquist would earn the state title.
After not qualifying for state his junior season, Bloomquist bounced back and not only surprised his 32nd place finish as a sophomore but took first out of 94 bowlers for the 2018 title.
Rhinelander bowling coach Mike Bourcier, a bronze level coach will be coaching the All-Star Team from the district Saturday in Madison, which includes Bloomquist as the top bowler in the district. There will also be several tournaments throughout the summer including the JR Gold in Dallas, Texas in which Bloomquist and Bourcier's daughter Mackenzie will compete against 3500 bowlers from around the United States.