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The Bowling Report (03/02/2008)
by Jim Kohner

She has a 300 game to her credit, a boatload of 700 series, plus seven city average titles.

Keri Wegman is probably one of the finest and most decorated female bowlers Winona has ever produced. But there's one thing she might accomplish this year that she's never done in her long and successful career - average 200 or better.

Following her 674 national honor count Monday night, Wegman improved her average to 201.6 in the Alley Gaters League at Westgate Bowl. She's carried some impressive averages and put up some big scores over the years, but nothing like the 2007-08 season.

"I'm as shocked as you are," Wegman said when asked what's different this year. "I go out and have a good time, enjoy the people I'm bowling with, and enjoy the people in the league.

"I don't feel I'm a better bowler now. I love to bowl and will continue to enjoy it as long as I'm physically able to do it. Bowling isn't a big deal now -- maybe that's why (the average) is better. I'm still as competitive as ever. If I don't do well, I'm upset with myself. I go out and bowl and bowl my best. If it's a good night, that's wonderful. If not, you forget about it."

Last year, when she averaged 193 in the Alley Gaters League and 186 in the Sparklers League at Winona Bowl, Wegman rolled one 700 series and 15 600s.

This season, she's already turned in four 700s (737, 736, 729, 704), all in the Alley Gaters League, along with 15 600s. Wegman's average is also over 190 this year in the Sparklers League.

Bowling in the same league with her daughter, Julie Moldenhauer, fuels Wegman's fire on Monday night. It's not that she wants to beat her daughter every week. She wants to push her to do her best, and vice-versa.

"Julie is my drive," Wegman said. "I strive to keep up with her and give her something to shoot for. It's fun to try and beat her. I'm getting older and won't be able to do this that much longer. When I'm done and retired, then it's between her and her daughter (Kodi)."

Wegman admits that bowling with the likes of fellow veterans Keri Prigge and Shirley Benedict in the La Crosse Traveling League has also helped her game.

"The better bowlers you bowl with, the better you'll be," she said. "If you're struggling and don't know what to do, you have someone to turn to and bounce ideas off of. When I was younger - I'm talking in my 20s - I picked one person and I wanted to be as good as her. That was my drive. For me, it was Mary Lou (Hazelton). A lot of girls today are the same way.

"The girls today are much more competitive. They're more serious and determined. Because of that, you get that drive and competition."

Who's hot?

A pair of huge scores highlighted this week's action for the men.

Last Thursday night in the Thursday Night Trios League at Winona Bowl, Jon Rector tossed the first 800 of his young career with an 806 series. He strung together games of 278, 270 and 258. That's the third highest score this year in Winona.

Tuesday night in the American League at Westgate, Wes Palokangas rolled the sixth highest series of the year with a 793 honor count.

Greg Schewe also scored big last Thursday in the Knights of Columbus League at Westgate with a 776 series.

Also turning in 700s were Jeff Fakler (737), Geoff Schewe (735), Chris Gardner (726), Robbie Waldera (715), Aaron Serwa (711), Adam Stockhausen (710), Brian Fakler (708) and Russ Prenot (707).

Keri Prigge paced the gals in the past week with a 690 series Monday night in the Spinners League at Winona Bowl. Angie Pomeroy fired a 661 series in the same league.

Also of note in the Spinners League was the score of Mary Kelly. She tallied her first career honor count Monday with a 600 series.

Others to roll 600s for the women were Krystal Dorman (634), Julie Moldenhauer (633), Lindsay Serwa (625), Mandi Steffes (615), Sue Buermann (614), Tina Wenzel (613), Amy Christie (604), Laurie Wiseman (604) and Diane Marley (600).



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