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The Bowling Report (03/04/2007)

Christine Szulczewski can probably count on one hand the number of national honor counts she's rolled in her young bowling career.

Prior to Monday night, it had been almost two years since her last 600 series. It's pretty safe to say that Szulczewski's performance in the Spinners League at Winona Bowl came out of nowhere.

"In my practice balls, I couldn't find my mark," she said. "I wanted to leave. It wasn't working for me."

But when practice was over and the action started, Szulczewski enjoyed the night of her life. She started the first game with eight straight strikes, before leaving splits in the final two frames for a 244.

Game 2 began with seven in a row and ended with a 259. And the final game was a solid 201. It all added up to a 704 series - by far the top score ever thrown by the 24-year-old.

"After the second game, my thought was this is going to be my best chance ever for a 700," said Szulczewski, who entered the evening with a 172 average. "Any bowler that's bowled as long as I have wants to get a 700. I didn't image doing it Monday. I thought it might happen after I graduate and have more time to bowl. It came sooner than I expected."

Szulczewski bowled in junior leagues and on the high school team in her hometown of Spring Lake Park, Minn. She enrolled at Winona State University and competed on its club team in 2000 and 2001. Following a few years in the Army Reserve, Szulczewski came back to WSU.

She had no intentions of joining a league until she received a phone call from Joan Wiczek.

"I wanted to be in a league last year," Szulczewski said. "It's kind of a fluke I ended up on the Schwab team. Joanie called me. If it wasn't for Joanie, I probably wouldn't be bowling.

"Ever since I've been in youth leagues, my average always went up about 10 pins a year. The last couple of years, it's been in the 170s. I know I can do better. I pretty much bowl just once a week. I very seldom get to go out and bowl with friends. I called my parents the other night and they were kind of astonished. I'm still a little bit in shock myself."

State tourney

It was very successful weekend for some Fountain City bowlers last Sunday in the Minnesota USBC Men's State Open Bowling Tournament at Winona Bowl and Westgate Bowl.

Russ Andress moved into second place in Division 2 all-events with a 2,304 score. He's also ninth in singles with a 797. Tom Schmidtknecht took over eighth place in Division 2 singles with a 799.

In Division 2 doubles, Pat Stiehl and Bill Wilhelmi moved into sixth place with a 1,513 score, which is one place higher than Tom Lettner and Rich Ernst, who combined for a 1,509.

Fountain City Ford took over fifth place in the Division 2 team event with a 3,482, while Golden Frog is currently eighth with a 3,434 series.

Ralph Dunbar of Lewiston is now fifth in Division 1 singles with an 800 score. Geoff Schewe of Winona is still the scratch leader with an 803.

Tom Benedict and Corey Koehler of Winona moved into second place in Division 1 doubles with a 1,550 score.

Joshua Peters of Isanti is the new Division 1 all-events leader with a 2,248 score. Josh Wenzel dropped to seventh (2,167) and Schewe to eighth (2,157). Dunbar took over ninth with a 2,156.

Who's hot?

Angie Pomeroy turned in her second 700 series in three weeks Wednesday night in the Lamplighter League at Winona Bowl. Pomeroy rolled games of 279, 226 and 213 for a 718.

Another big score by the ladies came last Thursday by Mandi Steffes, who fired a 700 series while subbing in the men's Classic League at Westgate Bowl.

Lindsay Boynton continued her recent hot streak with a 679 series last Thursday in the Sparklers League at Winona Bowl. Kim Kubis (656) and Sue Buermann (651) also turned in big scores. Steffes (700, 606) and Buermann (651, 610) both rolled a pair of honor counts.

Leading the men was Nick Heilman, who threw his third 300 game in Winona on Tuesday in the American League at Westgate Bowl. He finished with a 767 series. Paul Ciszak rifled a 751 series in the same league.

Adding their first 700s of the season in the past week were Sam Averbeck (725), Tim Wangen (724), Don Dennis (722), Dennis Becker Jr. (710) and Chris Peck (703). Peck's score, which came in the Knights of Columbus League at Westgate last Thursday, was also his first career 700.

Dale Bartelson added to his fine season with a pair of honor counts - a 736 and 708. 


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