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Athlete of the Week is Bellmore-Merrick bowler Kylie Persampire

Kylie Persampire of Bellmore-Merrick during a girls bowling

Kylie Persampire of Bellmore-Merrick during a girls bowling match against Wheatley on Thursday. Credit: Dawn McCormick

If you want to make some improvements in your life, follow the advice of Bellmore-Merrick bowler Kylie Persampire.

The Mepham junior only started bowling competitively in high school as a freshman and had a 138 average. She jumped to a 160 as a sophomore, and currently owns a 184 average — among the top marks among varsity bowlers in Nassau — this season.

"All I know is that going from a 138 [average] to almost 190 might seem like a huge mountain to climb," said Persampire, Newsday’s Athlete of the Week. "But if you put in the proper effort, time, and motivation, and you listen to the right people giving you advice, it’s not as hard as people might think."

Persampire recently just missed bowling a perfect game. She struck 11 times in a row and finished with a 298 in Game 2 of a 692 series in a win against East Meadow on Jan. 21. The Bellmore-Merrick team is 6-0 this season in Conference IV.

"I’ve been lucky enough to have some really good bowlers in my time here," Bellmore-Merrick coach Keri Cinelli said. "She’s just a little more of a fast-tracker in terms of how quickly she’s progressed.

"She’s always been a powerhouse thrower, but she’s taken her strength and put in some skill and finesse, and it’s really worked out for her."

Persampire showed she had the ability to perform under pressure as a freshman. After working hard all season on the JV team, Cinelli brought Persampire up to the varsity right before the Nassau championships.

She bowled one game for Bellmore-Merrick in the event, and rewarded her coach’s confidence with a season-best 183.

"I guess [the confidence] is something I got playing sports most of life," said Persampire, who also plays travel softball for Team Nitro Long Island 18U Gold. "I work well under pressure. I go with the flow, and I’ve learned to live in the moment."

While Persampire, and all high school bowlers, are disappointed there will be no state championships this season ( because of COVID-19), she and her Bellmore-Merrick teammates are locked in on winning a county title. The Nassau championships take place on Feb. 20.

Persampire — who has a 3.7 GPA — hopes to exhibit the poise she displayed as a young freshman in her first varsity event. She also has advice for young athletes attempting a new sport.

"I think the best thing to do is when you put your mind to something — keep trying — and don’t let your failures stop you," she said. "You can do anything you want."

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