High School Sports

Getting to know Kayla Steelsmith

Kayla Steelsmith

East bowling

Steelsmith, a sophomore, is one of East's top bowlers and will compete in the City League bowling meet on Saturday. East is 6-2 and tied for third in the City League; Steelsmith has a 181 average. She is the daughter of Rick Steelsmith, a professional bowler who won a national championship at Wichita State. She's also in East's International Baccalaureate program.

With your dad having such a long career in pro bowling, do you feel pressure to be one of the top bowlers?

"I don't really think it's too much pressure. Sometimes I'm kind of afraid it would be.... I kind of feel that sometimes I'm expected to get strikes a lot and to have good games. But it's not too bad.... Bowling isn't pressure, it's fun. It's challenging, and I get frustrated, but it's really fun."

Does your dad work with you on bowling?

"If he sees me bowling, he'll later talk to me about it. He talks about the mental part of it, how to get your mind right, thinking about positives."

Your dad still does some events, but do you remember watching him when he was on tour?

"I just remember cheering him on, me and my brother. We would cross our fingers that he'd get strikes. It was pretty intense, compared to high school. It gets pretty quiet at points, and then it gets really loud when he'd get strikes. In high school, we all kind of cheer each other on no matter what."

What do you do outside of bowling?

"I've played violin since fourth grade.... I'm in orchestra at East and in a Saturdays chambers group. It's part of the Wichita youth symphony. We meet every Saturday and prepare a concert.... I started playing the violin because when we picked our instruments in fourth grade, I always thought it sounded pretty. I like the high notes."

You also play golf, but what else interests you?

"I like art a lot. I guess I like how you can express yourself through it. ... In pre-IB art last year, we had a sketch project where we had to make a sketch — it was kind of a design, it wasn't any object. That was probably my favorite project of the year. It didn't have to be anything that we actually saw. We drew what we thought in our minds. I sketch at home sometimes, and I like photography, too. Every picture is unique and every person takes different shots and has different perspectives."