By Nancy Sanchez-Diaz
When Amanda Chrzanowski isn’t finishing her work for her biology major, you can bet she’s swinging her best arm on the bowling alley.
A three-time, first-team all-conference-performer and two-time recipient of the New York State Sectional All-Star team selection title, Chrzanowski, 20, is no stranger to sports.
Her mother, a former bowler herself, and her father, a former soccer player, have both played a crucial role in her involvement with competitive sports. Not only have they offered parental, they have also acted as personal coaches, too.
“They’ve always been there, “ Chrzanowski said. “They’ve given me pointers whenever I’m struggling with something and their biggest thing for me has been to just enjoy whatever sport I decide to take up.”
Though her first encounter with the bowling ball remains foggy, she said that bowling had always been a part of her life. Her grandfather and mother were also bowlers.
“I didn’t start taking bowling seriously until I was in the 5th grade,” Chrzanowski said. “My grandfather’s been my biggest inspiration. He’d always attend my meetings and ever since he passed two years ago, bowling’s been my link to him.”
Following in the footsteps of her father, Chrzanowski took up soccer for two years during her high school career. However, her decision to pursue bowling in college was based on the unique opportunities that bowling offered.
As a native New Yorker, bowling is what essentially drove her to FDU: The idea of challenging herself as a bowler and going Division I.
When Chrzanowski was a senior in high school, the choice of colleges eventually came down to two – Sacred Heart and Fairleigh Dickinson. Both schools are also in the Northeast Conference.
“I saw FDU winning championships and I knew I had to be a part of that,” Chrzanowski said.
Through hard work and hours of practice, she’s managed to become part of the eighth-ranked Fairleigh Dickinson women’s bowling team.
“I don’t think people realize how demanding bowling is, both physically and mentally,” Chrzanowski said. “We get up at 5 a.m. to prep for competitions. We spend seven hours a day at bowling alleys. And we’re constantly planning ahead, trying to figure out our next move.”
In order to balance the college course load and travel, Chrzanowski tries to get as much work done during the week. On the weekends, she even does her course work after competitions, on the plane or at the hotel.
Despite the difficulty of balancing athletics and academics, Chrzanowski’s love for the game still burns strong.
“I love bowling because it is such a competitive game, “ Chrzanowski said. “It challenges me and I’m always striving to be better.”