Tracy Schreiner likes to just get down to business when it comes to bowling. She doesn't need warm-ups or stretches. Just give her the ball.
"I just go out there and go," she said.
It's the same technique she's used since she was 8, when friends invited Schreiner and her family to a friendly bowling outing. That's when she discovered her passion for the sport.
"Since that time they invited us to bowl with them," Schreiner said, "I haven't stopped going."
Now, at 30, her highest achievements have been finishing third with her team at the state tournament three years ago and bowling a personal-best 289 in 1995.
Schreiner has been to St. Charles, Kansas City, Columbia, St. Joseph and most recently St. Louis to compete in state tournaments. In the spring she will travel to Springfield with her five-woman team to contend for a state title. She also plans to attend an April national competition for WIBC, the women's bowling organization she is associated with. The match will be played in Wichita, Kan.
She and her bowling partners compete in Division 1, the highest-ranked division at the state level. The average of the five ladies' scores decides the winner.
Schreiner, a Cape Girardeau native, can be found every Monday at the Jackson Bowling Lanes and every Thursday at West Park Lanes in Cape playing in different leagues and tuning up for her next competition, whether it be competitive or friendly.
Both her mother and father are involved in the sport, as well as an older brother and many friends across the country.
"A lot of the people I was friends with in college are now bowlers, too," Schreiner said.
The family tradition
She has a 4-year-old son who occasionally travels around the state to watch her bowl, but he hasn't started following in his mom's footsteps quite yet.
"I haven't taught him how to bowl yet," Schreiner said, "but it's something he'll probably catch on to as he grows."
Despite all her bowling, Schreiner admits that she enjoys her participation in the sport for much more than the bowling portion of it.
"Traveling and getting to know different people is my favorite part of it all." she said. "I love having a weekend away and getting to see different places. The seven of us girls are together quite a bit, and it's a fun time."