Campbell saves 700 string; Kirkpatrick shoots 290 honor score
Larry Mason

July 13, 2004 - Wes Campbell shot the only 700 series this week, but it was good enough to keep the Classic Lanes record of uninterrupted 700s on track. Due to the Independence Day extended weekend, the Sunday mixed league did not bowl.

Not having the Sunday crowd left only two leagues, Tuesday's mixed and Thursday's men's, to protect the five-year string of unbroken 700s. Along with Campbell's performance, add another honor score to Joe Kirkpatrick's list of accomplishments; he shot a 290 game on Thursday.

Summer leagues are known to have fewer bowlers than do fall leagues, so when an entire league's compliment of keglers are missing for any given week, records such as the one being amassed at Classic Lanes for over four years now, the unbroken string of 700 series, are endangered. Such was the case at the center this week.

On Tuesday night, one bowler, Mike Gilliland, gave 700 a run for its money, but unfortunately, he fell short of the mark, managing to garner a 689 for his night's work. He did shoot games of 244, and 253 in games one and two, but hit only 192 in game three when what he needed was a 203. Gilliland's was the only serious challenge.

After Tuesday's play, the 700 string's staying in tact for another week would be the responsibility of the men bowling in the Thursday Men's Commercial League. On Thursday, Mike was in the running to shoot a 700, having shot 213 in his first game and 237 in his second for a 450 two-game total, but he lost his mark in game three and had to settle for a 197, and a three game total of 647.

On Thursday night, things looked a whole lot better than they did on Tuesday. Neldon Smith shot 258 in game one, and 232 in game two, giving him a 490 total going into game three. He only needed to shoot a 210 game to reach the 700 level. Unfortunately, four open frames derailed his effort, leaving him with a 163 third game and a 653 series. Neldon righted himself in game four, shooting a 235 to finish the night with an 888 series and a 222 average for the evening, but the 700 string was still in jeopardy.

Joe Kirkpatrick started Thursday's action shooting his second honor score, a 290 honors game, making his shot at a 700 look pretty good. However, his second game was a mere 181 and his third, a 190, giving him a 661 total for his three game series, the series ABC recognizes. With all of the pressure off of him, Joe threw a 226 in game four, finishing the night with a four game total of 927. His was the only 900-plus series rolled on Thursday, but the 700 string was looking rather grim. By the way, Kirkpatrick will receive a wall plaque from the folks at ABC for the eleven strikes in a row that he rolled in game one.

Harold McClure shot a 226 in game one and a 237 in game two for a 463 total pin count entering game three on Thursday. He needed to roll a 237 to capture 700. He rolled a 226, finishing the evening with a 689 series. I believe Harold was just a tad bit upset with himself at that point, given the fact that he only tossed a 148 in game four. Still, he did finish the night with an 837 series and a 209 average for the night. But, there still wasn't any 700 series to sustain the center's string.

Bruce Michaelson appeared to be a shoo-in for a 700 series after he shot a 229 in game one and a 269 after game two for a 498 total entering game three. Michaelson needed only a 202 in game three to get a 700. However, Bruce's wheels fell off of the cart in game three, and he could only muster a 184 game, giving him a total of 682 for his three game series. His fourth game was a 215 giving him a four game total of 897 and a 224 average for the night. Still, the center had no 700 to keep the streak alive.

Enter Mr. Campbell. Wes began the night shooting a 269 game, and then followed that with a 203. He went to the line in game three toting a 472 game total. Wes had to have a 228 for his second 700 of the summer. Campbell spared in the first frame, struck in frames two through five, then spared in the sixth, seventh, and eighth frames. To reach his 228, Campbell had to have a double, meaning a strike in the ninth frame and a strike on his first attempt in the tenth frame. Wes knew what he needed to do for his 700 at this point, but he didn't realize his was the only shot at a 700 the center would have.

He hit the strike in the ninth, and then he struck on the first ball in the tenth. All he had to do at this point was to keep the ball in the center of the lane, which he did. He completed game three with a 235, and a three-game series total of 707. Campbell's fourth game was 182, making his four game total an 889. For his 700, Wes rolled 22 strikes, 10 spares and left two frames open. One of those was a split.

L.T. Gaby didn't shoot a 700 on Thursday, but he did roll a 619 to capture his first 600-plus series of the summer. L.T. shot games of 167, 254, and 198 in his first three games, then finished with a 183, for a four game total of 802, his first 800-plus series of the summer, and a 200 average for the night. He came into the night averaging 169. He admits to being close to 70 years in age.

Zach Burney was carrying a 158 average coming into Thursday's play. He shot four games of 179, 178, 172, and 191 to complete competition with a 720 series and a 180 average for the night. Zach has yet to learn to put his thumb in the ball, but when he does, you'll hear a lot more from this young man, I'm sure.

Travis Sutton has been averaging around the 135 mark all summer long. He averaged at or near this level all winter long, as well. After some instruction in two sessions last week, he stepped onto the approach Thursday and promptly shot a 155, a 178, a 170 and a 181 for a four-game total of 684 and a 171 average. He was 144 pins over his series average, and 36 pins over his per game average for the night. Travis was instrumental in his team's winning four games on Thursday.

Others who bowled well this week were: Michael Carter (645), Gary Davidson (638), Jason Parmer (633), and Jesse Haggerty (627).

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Larry Mason writes a weekly column on the bowling leagues at Classic Lanes. His column appears on Tuesday.

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