The McKendree University women’s bowling team has been invited by President Donald Trump to visit the White House on Friday.
The team is scheduled to meet with the president in a ceremony as part of Collegiate National Champions Day. The Bearcats won the 2017 NCAA women’s Bowling National Championship in April.
McKendree swept the University of Nebraska in the best-of-seven finals that was televised on ESPN. It marked the first NCAA championship for McKendree in any sport.
“They brought their talents into that national championship match and with their victory helped give McKendree athletics a worldwide presence,” said McKendree director of athletic Chuck Brueggemann. “This invitation to the White House helps reinforce their accomplishment and what it means on a University and national level.”
Head coach Shannon O’Keefe, director of bowling Bryan O’Keefe and all nine McKendree bowlers who participated in the NCAA tournament will be honored in Friday’s ceremony.
“For our ladies to win an NCAA national championship and to do so in an all-division way — to be the first NCAA Division II school to win the women’s bowling championship — was incredible,” said Shannon O’Keefe. “And then to receive an e-mail from the White House inviting us and our ladies to attend such an incredibly prestigious event is humbling and such an honor.
“I couldn’t imagine a better way to celebrate a national championship.”
The McKendree University women’s bowling team began its 2017-18 campaign as the top-ranked team in the National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) ratings. Through the first three tournaments of the new season, the Bearcats have a record of 28-9 in match play.