Special Olympians spare no effort at tournament CENTRAL COUNTY--Arnold * Broadneck * Severna Park * Crownsville * Millersville

November 23, 1992|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Staff Writer

A strike in the ninth frame left Carl Bogart with a good lead over his nearest competition. But he wanted one more, just for good measure.

He didn't get it, however. Missed by one pin. But that pin wasn't enough to keep him from picking up a gold medal yesterday in the Special Olympics Bowling tournament at the Severna Park Lanes.

"When I stepped up to the lane my leg was really starting to bother me," Mr. Bogart said. "But I tried to just forget about it and roll the ball. I got all but one. Now, my leg was really bothering me. I just couldn't get that last pin."

Mr. Bogart was among 150 Special Olympians who came out for a morning of bowling sponsored by the Severna Park Jaycees.

Olympians ages 8 to 60, some in wheelchairs and others ambulatory, were spread out over 30 lanes, bowling for medals and ribbons with the intensity of professionals on the circuit and scarfing down food and drinks provided by the Jaycees.

Shouts of "Yessss!" filled the cavernous hall as pins rattled and clattered to the floor of the alleys, and bowling balls thumped into the back of the pin changers.

While many of the bowlers had extensive experience, there were some beginners. They received eight weeks of training before the tournament. More experienced bowlers could take the training if they wanted.

Naval Academy midshipmen and students from St. Mary's College in St. Mary's City helped maneuver wheelchairs around the lanes to get their occupants into position to bowl.

In addition to those volunteers and the families on hand, there also were enough huggers around for traditional congratulations and high fives.

Richard Derhammer watched as his 18-year-old son, Scott, stepped up to the lane to take his turn.

"He does pretty good, a few gutter balls here and there," Mr. Derhammer said. "He's got his mother sitting down there on one side and one of the [volunteers] is helping him."

Like many of the athletes bowling yesterday, Scott, who ended up with a bronze medal, is a veritable pro about competition, entering Special Olympics games throughout the year.

David Lawrence, wearing his "Bowl for the Gold" T-shirt, has nearly 75 medals, said his mother, Elaine Lawrence. The 22-year-old man began competing at the age of 6 in events ranging from track and field to swimming to ice skating, she said.

"If he wins any more we're going to have to build another room," Mrs. Lawrence said.

Gretchen Peterson, who works at Archbishop Spaulding High School, said the silver medal she picked up yesterday was her first in bowling. But Ms. Peterson, 31, said she had "a whole bunch more" won in swimming events.

It was a similar story for Joe Howe, 22. Mr. Howe, who works at T.G.I. Friday's in Annapolis said his bronze medal was just one of "millions, maybe hundreds" of medals he has won over the years.

Yesterday, medals or ribbons were awarded to each Olympian who placed from first through fifth place. Even those who didn't place high enough to get a medal received a ribbon for participating.

Mr. Bogart said he had plans for his medal.

"I work at the recycling plant on Spa Road in Annapolis," he said. "I'm going to take it and show it to all the guys and make them jealous."

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