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The Bowling Report (11/04/2007)

Chris Gardner had that 800 series staring his straight in the face Tuesday night.

The 40-year-old left-hander tossed the first 300 game in Winona this season in the American League at Westgate Bowl Tuesday. It came in the second game of what would end up a 775 national honor count. He started the night with a 255 game. All that stood between Gardner and his first career 800 was a 245 game.

And through eight frames, it was looking pretty good.

"I was bowling fairly well in the third game, and then in the third frame I threw a gutter ball," Gardner said. "I came back and struck to the eighth, and I think all I had to do was stay clean the rest of the way. But I threw big splits in both the ninth and 10th frames. I took speed off and swung the ball out. Both were right on the nose. That was disappointing. Once I blew the ninth, I was done."

Gardner ended the final game with a 220, and the 775 series in the second highest of his career. It was also the second 300 game of his career.

It capped a great two weeks of bowling for Gardner, who last week fired a 726 series. His two 700s match the number he had all of last year.

"I'm in one of those grooves," said Gardner, who averaged 203 last season after averaging in the mid-220s the previous year. "I'm a little more confident. I've found a good line and I'm hitting my target. It's an easier game when you hit your mark consistently. I attribute it to concentration.

"Last year was a down year for me. It's the worst year I've had in a while. I'm getting my focus back."

Gardner bowls just one night a week, but that certainly doesn't mean he hasn't put in his time at the bowling alley. Westgate Bowl has been owned by the Gardner family since it opened in the early 1960s.

"I grew up there," Gardner said. "I was used to bowling 15 games a day when I'd go there with my dad as I was growing up. When I went to college (at St. Thomas) I gave it up for a while."

Gardner led his Wellington's Brewers team to the best series of the year with a 3,669. They also rolled a 1,300 game.

"We had three guys in the 500s after two games," Gardner said. "We were having fun.

"Your first 300 game you know it and you want to get that monkey off your back. But you still get nervous. This time, I didn't get nervous until the 10th frame. The first one was a little high, but the last two were right there."

WWBA scholarships

The Winona Women's Bowling Association is taking applications for three post-secondary scholarships of $550 to be given for the 2008-09 school year.

Applicants must be a YABA bowler or an adult student bowler. Additional qualifications and information are on the application forms at the bowling establishments in Winona. The application deadline is Jan. 19.

Who's hot?

Keri Prigge has been on a roll in recent weeks in the Sunsetters League at Westgate Bowl. Wednesday, she rolled a 267 game en route to a 676 national honor count - the top women's score of the week.

The other two big women's series came out of the Alley Gaters League at Westgate, where Keri Wegman rifled a 663 and Maggie Glenn added a 650.

The second highest men's score came Tuesday night in the American League from Anthony Kohner with a 769 series. He is one of Gardner's teammates from the Wellington's Brewers team. In the same league, Drew Fugelstad rolled his first career honor count with a 717 series.

Other men to roll honor counts in the past week were Robbie Waldera (736), Mike Durnen (730), Jerry Bublitz (729), Mel Ott (726), Dave Bohn (725), Steve Maliszewski (719), Aaron Spitzer (718), Don Boynton (713), Matt Wise (712), Christ Brown (711), Dave Sobeck (708), Greg Schewe (707), John Glowczewski (704) and Brian Fakler (700). Glowczewski's series was the first 700 of the season in the PBA Experience Classic League at Westgate.

Adding honor counts for the women were Mandi Steffes (637), Lindsay Serwa (627), Kim Kubis (623), Lisa Piatkaukis (615), Rose Schultz (614) and Lynda Krall (603).

Wednesday night in the Lamplighter League at Winona Bowl, Watkins turned in a 1,244 game, which is the seventh highest women's game ever bowled in Winona.



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