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Riding the good times of Bronco bowling

The Hastings College Bronco bowlers practice at Pastime Lanes (KHGI)

In a day and age when athletic departments are looking to save every dollar they can, Hastings College going with a different approach.

The Broncos beginning a men's and women's bowling team five years ago to bring more kids on campus, and their decision paying off far beyond the red and black. The Bronco bowlers making history in the infant years as a program.

"It wasn't anything that I did. It's just a blessing that the kids all get along," said head coach Ron Hergott.

They're the only outfit to boast a back to back individual national champion, Emily Eckhoff, plus a national rookie of the year, Samantha Laird, from the same school in the same year. They've also had at least one team finish in the top ten nationally each of the last four years.

All of this success riding on the heels of not taking things too seriously.

"The practices are so much fun and the tournaments are so much fun," Hergott said. "I had a kid call me this year from Maryland who wanted to join us because he watched us at nationals last year and he said, 'You guys had more fun than any other team in the country,' and he said, 'I just absolutely adored how much fun you guys were having.' So it's cool when you hear that."

Both teams combined for eight top five finishes in events during the 2017–18 year.

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