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Bowling: Chesterton senior Candice Tovo shining in first season

Chestertsenior Candice Tovo has wsectional regional singles titles her first seasbowling after swimming last year. | STeve T. Gorches~Post-Tribune

Chesterton senior Candice Tovo has won sectional and regional singles titles in her first season bowling after swimming last year. | STeve T. Gorches~Post-Tribune

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Updated: March 7, 2013 10:18AM



A year ago at this time, Candice Tovo was all wet — literally. She was a swimmer for Chesterton High School as a junior.

During the first two years of high school she didn’t compete in any sport while dealing with a medical condition.

This year she chose bowling over swimming. And after overcoming a wrist injury early in the season, the senior is still bowling halfway through the four-week Indiana High School Bowling postseason.

And Tovo has some hardware to show for her effort with sectional and regional titles. The latest medal placed around her neck came Saturday in the Michigan City Regional at City Lanes in which she struck a couple times in the 10th frame to force Merrillville’s Carly Larson to strike twice. When Larson threw a split, Tovo had a title for the second straight event.

She beat Portage’s Jackie Rhoda in the sectional final.

“The 10th frame was so tense,” Tovo said of the regional final against Larson. I didn’t think I would do this great after the wrist injury.”

She also helped the Trojans advance to regional as a team.

“She’s been carrying the team,” Chesterton coach Randy Priano said. “She’s been bowling great.”

Teammate Heidi Tucker will be joining Tovo at the South Bend Semistate after finishing eighth at regional.

Tovo wasn’t on hand for the first two weeks of practice in October. But a couple of friends on the boys bowling team — Austin Wilcher and Nate Sipe, who also advanced to semistate, convinced her to come to practice.

“They kept asking me to come out,” Tovo said. “I thought I might as well try it. The worst that could happen is that I wouldn’t do so great — it’s just bowling.”

It may be Tovo’s first and only season in high school bowling, but she’s definitely not new to the sport. She’s been bowling for 14 years in youth leagues, mostly at Plaza Lanes in Highland where her big sister, Kim Bridges, has also competed for years. Bridges and Tovo’s dad, Jim, have had big impacts on Tovo’s growth in the sport.

“Her influence has been huge,” Tovo said of Bridges. “When I’m really struggling, she’s the one I go to. She helps me calm down. I’m so happy she got to see (regional).”

Bridges, a two-time Post-Tribune Tournament champion who is 14 years older than the 18-year-old Tovo, sees her younger sister maturing in bowling.

“She’s been bowling awesome,” Bridges said. “Her attitude is much better when it comes to bowling.”

In other words, when it comes to picking bowling over swimming, Tovo chose wisely.



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