Jessica Mellott '18

Photo of Jessica Mellott ‘18 holding NCAA Champion Trophy


  • Health and Wellness major from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • Women’s Bowling Team

  • Received Second-Team All-MIAA Honors for the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 2017

  • Made the All-Tournament Team for the Crusader Classic in 2017 and the Kutztown Competition in 2016

  • Named MVP and made the All-Tournament Team for the Intercollegiate Team Championships in 2016

  • Reached the Quarterfinal Round of the Intercollegiate Singles Championship in 2017

  • Vice President for Wonders of Wellness (W.O.W.)

  • Named to the Dean’s List

by Stephanie (Coartney) Dulaney '10

Jessica Mellott ’18 was only a junior when she made McKendree Athletics history as a member of the number one collegiate bowling team in the country, the Lady Bearcats. Now going into her senior year, she looks forward to continuing play with a team that’s become her second family and breaking more records for McKendree women’s bowling.

During the 2016-2017 season, the Lady Bearcat bowlers became only the second team in the nation to win both the NCAA and Intercollegiate Team Championships in the same year. In fact, they did it in the same week! They were also the first team in McKendree history to win an NCAA National Championship. Jessica’s strikes in both tournaments helped push the Lady Bearcats to solidify a lead to advance to the top spot. More than a month later, she still can’t believe she and her teammates are two-time national champions.

“I re-watch our shows on a daily basis, and it still doesn’t seem real to me,” she said.

Quotation Graphic"I can’t put together the words to describe how it feels to be a two-time national champion in the span of a week."

Jessica Mellott '18 BowlingBowling was one of the main reasons Jessica first decided to travel all the way from Florida to attend college at McKendree. “Bryan and Shannon O’Keefe are the top coaches in the country, and the knowledge they have of the game can’t be found anywhere else,” she said. “They have helped me become the best player I can be and are always helping me improve.”

As a Health and Wellness major, Jessica soon found a home at McKendree, excelling in her classes and taking a leadership role in the student organization Wonders of Wellness (W.O.W.). It was the camaraderie and support of her teammates and coaches, however, that have made her McKendree experience so special thus far. “I can’t even describe how much I have changed since being at McKendree,” she said. “I’m a completely different bowler, not only physically, but mentally. These girls have become my family, and Shannon and Bryan are my second parents.”

Jessica looks forward to making her senior year in bowling another one for the record books. After graduation, she plans to pursue her Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration with the goal of becoming a Hospital Administrator. Bowling, however, will always be a part of who she is, and she hopes to continue to challenge herself athletically in Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) games once she’s finished with school.

Outside of bowling, Jessica enjoys going to the beach, exercising, and cooking. Although, she says, you can find her at the bowling alley almost every day doing what she most loves. As Jessica has learned, success is sure to find you when you keep pressing on for the love of the game.

Learn more about McKendree University and Bearcat Athletics.


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