Fans Welcome Home Harlem Bowlers

The reception was held Monday evening when the teams return from the Nationals.

MACHESNEY PARK - We already knew that Harlem's bowling teams were number one. Now that's more clear than ever.

The Girls team won the U.S. High School National Championship Saturday in Smyrna, Tennessee near Nashville. The boys team finished in second place in the boys competition.

Monday evening both teams got a big welcome reception when their bus arrived back at Harlem High School. More than 100 fans were there to greet them along with fire trucks and a police car.

It was an emotional scene with lots of hugs and a few tears. The girls proudly carried their championship trophy.

Both teams won State Championships during the IHSA Tournament last winter. So how does winning a National Championship compare?

((Rebecca Hagerman, Harlem bowler) "It's definitely a similar feeling," says Harlem bowler Rebecca Hagerman. "It's just like icing on the cake for us going from a regional championship to a sectional and to State and now a National Championship. It's just incredible!"

"I woke up Sunday and I was like it was so cool," says Harlem girls coach Jim Heathscott. "And I honestly don't think the girls realize how much, how big this is for this school. I mean I honestly didn't either until I get her today. This is just fantastic. This is awesome!"

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