Borrowing ill-fitting bowling shoes and bowling at local lanes with friends is a widespread American pastime. As the comedian Jim Gaffigan said, “Bowling’s great. You’ve gotta love a sport you can eat while you play it.” This joke describes the traditional attitude toward bowling and how many people consider it a game, not a sport. But, for many young women, it is a collegiate sport that requires many hours of practice at the lanes.
Julie Lohman ‘15 has a passion for bowling. She started bowling in the fourth grade and is now going to college as a Division I athlete.
Lohman moved from Iowa to Illinois last year. As soon as she arrived at Jones, she became a member of the bowling team. As a senior, she started investigating scholarships and the opportunity to continue bowling in college. She sent a demonstration video of her bowling to multiple college coaches. The coaches only knew Lohman as “Bowler #4” because no information is sent with the videos.
Lohman ultimately received offers from over 20 schools. The schools were a mix of divisions. Division was not initially a part of Lohman’s decision. Lohman said, “Wanting to be a member of a Division I team started off as unimportant, but I wanted to be a part of the best teams in the US and be in the running for a championship.”
Sign-in week is a time when the interested schools send offers to the athletes they have scouted. This was an extremely important turning point for Lohman. The University of Nebraska, a Division I school, was one of the schools interested in Lohman and is the most successful team in the NCAA bowling league. The University of Nebraska immediately offered her a bowling scholarship to express their interest. Lohman hoped to hear from Tulane University during sign-in week. Lohman said, “Tulane has great academics, but did not offer anything in that week.” Having the opportunity to be a member of the best Division I team in the league and receiving a scholarship sealed the deal.
Lohman plans to bowl for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers next year.