File photo                                Keremeos athletes Jessica Lehtonen and Ashleigh Cummings are headed to the National Bowling Championships to compete in five-pin bowling in Prince Edward Island in May.

File photo Keremeos athletes Jessica Lehtonen and Ashleigh Cummings are headed to the National Bowling Championships to compete in five-pin bowling in Prince Edward Island in May.

Keremeos athletes headed to national championships

Two Keremeos athletes are headed to Prince Edward Island to compete in the National Bowling Championships in May 2018.

Avid five-pin bowlers Ashleigh Cummings and Jessica Lehtonen earned their spot on the Team BC 2018 Training Squad based on their performances in the Special Olympics BC Summer Games earlier this year in Kamloops.

The women were part of the gold winning team at the provincial games.

“We knew this was a possibility so it’s kind of exciting that this possibility came to fruition,” Cummings said Tuesday.

The longtime teammates found out their entire team was headed to the championships Friday.

“I saw it on the website on Friday,” Lehtonen. “I screamed and then I texted Ashleigh.”

When Cummings found out she immediately texted her mom.

“I was really excited.”

Neither women have ever been to Prince Edward Island.

“It’s going to be really interesting,” Lehtonen said.

Because five-pin bowling is being moved to the winter games the national championships are being held separately from the Canada Summer Games, which are slated to happen in July 2018 in Nova Scotia.

“It’s going to be a very busy training schedule for us because we’ll be training for not only the championships but also to qualify for the BC winter games so we can try to make it to the Canada winter games,” Cummings said.

Currently Cummings has an average of 114 while Lehtonen’s average is 121.

They’re both hoping to increase their averages headed into the national championships.

Training hasn’t officially started yet as bowling leagues don’t start up yet for a few weeks but they expect the schedule will be grueling.

“We practiced two to three times a week for the provincial games,” Cummings said. “We would bowl one time here and one time in Osoyoos plus we sometimes went to Kelowna.”

In addition to bowling the women also compete in bocce and gymnastics.

“All of this is the result of our determination and hard work,” Cummings said.