Four more 700s go into the record books
By Larry Mason

May 25, 2004 -- At the beginning of the summer league season four years ago, May 2001, someone rolled a 700 series at Classic Lanes, and that started a string of uninterrupted 700s that continues to to this day.

On Thursday night, the last night of the men's commercial league for the fall and winter season, four men continued the 700 string: Kelly Shields, Russ Nuss, Joey Kirkpatrick and Vincent Smith.

Kelly Shield opened Thursday's play with a 254 game, then followed that with games of 238 and 237. He finished the evening with a 729 series, 103 pins above his series average of 606. It was Kelly's fourth 700 series of the season, and it moved him from 22nd to 20th place on the high series list. Shield' improved his averaged by one pin to a 203, and moved up the average ladder to 15th place where he joins Jason Parmer.

In the high game category, Shields ranks 13th with a 275 shot earlier in the season. He is tied with Charles Harred. Shields is one of a number of young adults currently bowling at the center who honed their skills in the Young American Bowling Alliance program offered by Classic Lanes some 10 years ago. Kelly rolled 23 strikes, five spares and had two open frames to register his 729.

Russ Nuss' name is going to be one to remember is he continues bowling as he has in recent weeks. You may recall that Russ shot his first ever honor score, a 298, just last week and at the same time recorded his first 700 series of the year. Thursday night, Russ collected his second 700 of the season, a 725, made up of games of 243, 225 and 257.

Russ is now averaging 203, 14th on the high average list, where he joins Jason Parmer and Kelly Shields. His 298 honor score still holds firmly to third place on the high game list. Nuss' 725 of Thursday bumped him up to 23rd place on the high series list, up three places from last week. Nuss rolled 25 strikes, six spares and had two open frames while collecting his second 700 of the year.

Joey Kirkpatrick promised that if no one else threw a 700 on Thursday, he would so that Classic Lanes' string would stay on line. Well, he didn't need to shoot a 700 as it was, but he did anyway. Joe rolled games of 258, 222 and 234 on the way to recording his third 700 of the year, a 714. Joe ranks 17th on the high series list with a 733 he shot earlier in the season.

He raised his averaged two pins after Thursday's action to a 197 and now claims the 22nd position on the high average list. His highest game of the year is a 279, which places him in 10th place on the high games list. Joe is another of those individuals who started their bowling careers as part of the center's youth bowling program. Kirkpatrick rolled 23 strikes, seven spares and had three open frames, one of those a split, in his quest for 700 series number three.

Vincent Smith collected his third 700 series on the season on Thursday, this one a 709 comprised of games of 214, 258 and 237. Smith ranks 13th on the high series list by virtue of a 747 he shot some weeks ago, and he is currently averaging 207 and ranks 11th in that category where he is tied with Ray Howser.

On the high game listing, Vincent ranks 10th with a 279, a distinction he shares with another 12 bowlers. To get his 709, Vince shot 23 strikes, seven spares and had three open frames, one of those was a split.

Mike Gilliland and Mike Fletcher entered Thursday night's play in a dead heat for high average in the men's league. Both were carrying 221s, separated by only a fraction of a point. Gilliland held the edge, 221.22 to Fletcher's 221.02.

Gilliland finished the night with a 672 series with games of 238, 214 and 220, while Fletcher finished with a 270 comprised of games of 205, 229 and 236. The result is that Gilliland ended the men's league with the high average award, with Fletcher second and Darreyl Dixon third.

The ladies returned to the lanes on Sunday and Tuesday nights, and at the end of play, Deana Hale bested all of the other lady bowlers, taking the lead in all categories we track: high average (197), high series (591) and high games (255). Like Shields and Kirkpatrick, Deana is a product of the YABA program conducted at the center in the mid-90s.

Others who bowled well during the week included Paul Maldonado (671), Andy Priest (668), Scott Roach (660), Bruce Michaelson (657), Dickie Harrison (654), Cliff Whitney (652), Wes Campbell (647 Thursday, 631 Sunday), Neldon Smith (641), Michael Carter and Jason Parmer (639), Tarry Davison (638), Larry Siegert (635), Harold McClure and Darreyl Dixon (634) and Nick Painter (629).

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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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