"This is the second year in a row that one of Greenway Odenton's youngsters has gone to the National Junior Bowling Championships finals," said Peggy Tully, youth director at Greenway Bowl Odenton.
"Lastyear, Rachael Kiessling bowled her way into the national finals, andthis year John Herren did it."
Herren joins the other three state winners -- Angela Belella fromHagerstown, Kimberly Fitzgerald of Cherokee Lanes and Mike Dixon from Bowl America Odenton -- who competed in the state finals at CroftonBowling Centre on April 12.
These four will compete in the national finals in Tucson, Ariz., in July where $44,000 in scholarships will be awarded.
Herren, 15, lives in Glen Burnie with his parents, June and Robert Herren Sr., and is in the ninth grade at Glen Burnie High School.
"The tournament was exceptionally well run," said June. "The people handling the kids did a great job."
So did John. In the Grades Nine and Up Boys Handicap Division, he started at the bottom of the stepladder finals and defeated all four of his opponents onhis way to the state title.
He carries a 161 average, with a 261 career-high game and a high set of 600-plus. In the tournament, he used a 16-pound Hammer bowling ball that was a Christmas present.
"Iknew that John could do it," said Tully. "If he really wanted to do it, I knew he could."
Mike Dixon, 17, lives in Gambrills with his parents, Dick and Marie Dixon, and is in the 10th grade at Arundel High School. He started bowling when he was 10 years old, and on Aug. 19 at Bowl America Odenton he shot his career high game of 299.
John Switala Jr., 11, of Pasadena is the son of Donna and John Switala Sr. His father is seriously considering bowling in the professional ranks, so it's easy to see where John Jr. gets his coaching.
The sixth-grader at Chesapeake Bay Middle School is throwing a 12-poundball and averaging 130, with a 212 high game and a high series of 502. He placed second to Aaron Burley of White Oaks Lanes in the NJBC state finals in the Grades Six to Eight Boys Division.
Jennifer Robinson was second to Angela Belella in the Grades Nine and Up Girls Scratch Division. Robinson, 17, is in the 12th grade at South River High and lives in Edgewater with her parents, Clara and Raymond.
Thisis a bowling family. Clara, Raymond and Jen's brother, Joey, all bowl. Jen carries a 169 average with a high game of 242 and a high set of 631.
Tully said, "She's a hard lady to beat. She finished secondon what, for her, was an off day."
Jackson Steele finished third in the Grades Six to Eight Boys Division. He's 14 and in the eighth grade at Arundel Middle School. He lives in Severn with his parents, Sherley and Gavin Steele Jr., and his brother, Charles.
Jackson hasa 126 average with a high game of 193 and high set of 529 and started bowling when he was "about 8 years old."
Tully said, "He's a sweet young man who is just going to keep getting better and better as he gets older."
Cathryn Pendry, 15, of Millersville, bowls in the Youth League on Saturday mornings at Fair Lanes Southdale.
TheOld Mill High School student started bowling when she was 7 years old, and she carries a 140 average with a high game of 206 and high series of 570 bowling as a junior in the YABA.
Brian Swain did it again -- another 300 game. On March 16 in the INSCOM Mixed League at Fort Meade, Swain hit his first 300 game. On April 6, he struck again.
"I was bowling on the same lanes, bowling in the same league, using the same ball, a Columbia U-Dot, and rolled the 300 game for the second game of the set, just like the last time," he said. "The only difference was that this time I had a better set, 715 instead of 665."
Fair Lanes Southwest was the site of some top duckpin scores recently.
Richard Eaton of the Tuesday Sociables fired two triples for a 203 game on April 7.
Larry Price of the American Mixed League banged out nine marks for his 203 game on April 9.
Joe Lowenoski, bowling in the Friday M/M Fives, shot a 454 series on April 10.
Norma Gunkel, in the Gemini First League, had a 183 game as a cornerstone for a 497 set on April 14.
Joe Briggs, in the Friendly Friday Nighters, had a 174 game and a 491 series on April 17.
Mike Fritz, in the Second Army League, shot 186, 153 and 184 for a 523 series on April 21.
Don't forget to tune in Don Vitek's The Bestof Bowling radio talk show on WCBM-AM, 680 on your AM dial, at 5 p.m. every Sunday.
Donald G. Vitek's Bowling column appears every Thursday in The Anne Arundel County Sun. Bowlers are urged to give Don acall with scores and tidbits at 247-0850.