Olympia senior Ryan Rutkiewicz has enjoyed his time on the Titans’ bowling team.
Olympia senior Ryan Rutkiewicz joined the bowling team after losing a bet to a friend his sophomore year, but he has no regrets. With this season being his last at the high-school level, Rutkiewicz is hoping to build off the success of last season.
How did you first get into bowling?
I didn’t bowl until my sophomore year. One of my friends who is on the team right now — I lost a bet to him. It was over some kind of football game. He was on the team the previous year and said if I lost the bet, I would have to join the team. I ended up losing the bet, and I joined the team and I’m going into my third year right now. Definitely glad I lost that bet.
What’s been your favorite part about being with the program?
I see it as almost a hidden competitiveness. A lot of people see bowling as your typical fun bowling thing, but when you get to that next level and playing more competitive schools, you really get into it. I just find it competitive and really exciting.
What’s been the biggest change you’ve seen in your game since starting?
My sophomore year, I always saw it as a way for me to compete against other teams to see how good I am, but now I feel like I’m really just trying to compete against myself. I really try to focus on improving my game and seeing how far that can take me.
What’s been the hardest part of this sport?
The hardest part I find is adjusting to the oil patterns on the lane. Some of the lanes have very different and intricate oil patterns that make it hard to bowl. Sometimes, your ball is going to get a lot of hook on the lane; sometimes you don’t get any. I still work on it a lot — trying to figure out how to throw my ball and what to do to get a good shot.
What’s your favorite part about bowling?
I kind of like being together as a team and interacting with people — I really like the people on the team. That teamwork aspect of it I really enjoy. It can be an individual sport, but it can also be a team sport, which is a lot of fun.
If you hit a tough spot during a game, how do you get over that?
That has been a problem for me the last two years, but I think I’m starting to figure it out. Whenever I realize that whatever I’m doing isn’t working — I’m hitting a couple of splits in a row or just a couple of balls that are just not good — I really just try to slow down, think about what the lane is doing to my bowl and then learn to adjust. It’s really just a matter of calming down and then figuring out what is wrong.