Wichita State bowler helps lead national team to gold in Thailand

Everyone remembers his or her first time out of the country. For junior Kelsey Muther, that first time was to Bangkok, Thailand. 

Muther was part of the USA Junior Girls bowling team that took gold at the World Youth Championship last month. 

“This was my first time out of the country,” Muther said. “It was quite an experience. We didn’t go just to bowl, we also got to see some of the culture.”

Muther qualified for the team in January at the Team USA trials. Qualifying consisted of a week of playing in different conditions and lane patterns. The top two finishers at the trials automatically got selected to the USA team. 

Muther finished third at the Team USA Trials, but was one of two players selected by the National Selection Committee to compete at the World Youth Championship.

At the World Youth Championships, bowlers compete in three different events. Each bowler bowls as a single, a double and then as a team. Muther finished 16th overall in the All Events category. Each bowlers’ results in each competition are compiled to place in the All Events category.

“It takes the average of all three events you compete in,” Muther said. “I finished 16th overall with 50 different countries competing.”

Muther is a member of the Wichita State bowling team and started bowling at the age of five.

“A friend of mine wanted me to bowl in a peewee league and it seemed like a fun sport to do so I did it,” Muther said. “My friend moved away the next year, but I stuck with bowling and ever since then I’ve progressively gotten better.”

Muther, a Topeka native, came to WSU for the bowling program and the nursing program. 

“The bowling program was one thing that brought me to WSU, but they have an excellent nursing program so it was a win-win for me,” Muther said.

The next tournament for Team USA will be at the Tournament of Americas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., July 31- August 6. 

“Myself and Holly Harris are both members of Junior Team USA,” Muther said. “Holly, my Junior Team USA partner, also bowls for Wichita State.”