Ron Bahr rediscovers old magic to bowl 836 series

Rocha also rolls 300/800; Halseth, Charity toss perfect games

Neither age nor surgery to repair a bowler’s elbow have diminished Ron Bahr’s love for his favorite sport.

 

He’s still the same affable, always-ready-to-talk-bowling kind of guy he was in the spring of 2003 when he made history by becoming the first person to roll back-to-back perfect games in the national bowling tournament.

Bahr never has topped the 237-300-300 – 837 series he shot en route to winning the Regular Singles title in Knoxville, Tenn., but he came darn close last Wednesday night at West Ridge Lanes.

Bowling in the Big 10 Men’s League, the 58-year-old Bahr rolled 300-289-247 – 836 to move into the lead on the men’s series season honor roll for 2015-16. Russ Wilson had been leading with an 819 at West Ridge.

“Just like Knoxville, it just happened,” Bahr said. “You don’t go into bowling thinking I’m going to shoot 800 tonight.”

In fact, it had been about six years since Bahr, who also took home the Topeka USBC Bowling Association’s Bowler of the Year Award in 2003, last shot an 800 series — 834 to be exact — and five years since his last 300 game.

In the meantime, he’d had surgery for the tendinitis in his elbow and, well, added a few years, which he said had robbed him of some hand strength.

Last Wednesday, however, everything clicked again.

“Bam, it just fell into place,” Bahr said. “It’s just one of those things.

“Warming up it seemed like I threw a lot of strikes, and we have this thing: strikes in practice mean no strikes bowling. You don’t want to throw strikes in practice and waste them. I was throwing some old stuff, the Pulse — that’s the Knoxville ball — and a Hammer 3D Offset that I threw for all three games.”

Bahr opened with 22 consecutive strikes before leaving a 10-pin on his 11th ball in game two. He was determined to get the spare, which he did, and then added nine more strikes in game three to post his best-ever league series.

“Having 300 the first game, you’ve got the 300 bogey off your shoulder,” Bahr said. “The next thing you know, I’ve got the front 10 (strikes in game two). You’ve got 300, 289, and inside you’re going, OK, when’s the reality check? Lord, don’t let it be a 170 this last game.”

The only thing that didn’t go Bahr’s way that night was the poker game his team plays while it’s bowling (cards are awarded for strikes and other scores).

“I had 31 out of 36 (possible) strikes and didn’t win a card game,” he said. “I’ve had nights when I was low man (bowling) and won at cards. But that’s OK.”

Bahr’s outing wasn’t the only 300/800 performance last week. One night earlier, Justin Rocha used a clutch finish to shoot 233-267-300 – 800 in the Gage Majors League at Gage Center Bowl to tie for fifth on the series honor roll.

“I think I was less nervous about shooting 800 knowing I had to shoot 300, rather than having 540 or 530 after two (games) and knowing I could miss (striking) once or twice,” Rocha said. “Don’t worry about missing if you can’t miss.”

Not missing is a feat Rocha has accomplished three times this season, making him the only city bowler with multiple 300s in league play (two at Center and one at West Ridge). So another 300 was a distinct possibility.

“I had a great look,” Rocha said. “It was just about executing all night for me. The second game it was just a 9-pin and a 10-pin is all. It was 12 (balls) in the pocket for 267. So I was right there. I knew I had a great look. Anytime I see a 5 (500 or more) there after two games, I keep it in the back of my mind I have a shot at (800).”

David Halseth and Jim Charity also joined the men’s 300 club last week. Both were bowling Thursday night in the JPJ & Associates League at Center when Halseth shot 300-227-257 – 784 and Charity rolled 300-179-261 – 740.

In the same league, Shelby Rouse shot 224-248-232 – 704 to claim eighth place on the women’s series honor roll. She was followed by Chelsie Bahr, 257-229-192 – 678 at West Ridge and 215-198-258 – 671 at Center; Sonia Parrish, 226-217-230 – 673 at Center; Angeline Spader, 189-198-279 – 666 at Center; and Rhiannon Ross, 236-256-171 – 663 at Center. Spader’s 279 game is tied for third place.

Gary Hamilton’s 248-226-247 – 721 series at West Ridge and Dennis Uhl’s 248 – 686 at Center paced the senior men, while the senior women were led by Carol Tyler’s 222 – 574 and Cleora Cushinberry’s 202 – 574 at West Ridge, and Kathy West’s 244 game (tied for fourth) at Center.

Topping the youth were Jordan Freed, 237 – 680; Adam Wood, 226 – 660; Brayden Prockish, 279 game (tied for sixth); and Hannah Casto, 209 – 556, all at West Ridge.

City season honor roll

(New top-10 scores from Jan. 25-31)

ADULT MEN

Series — 836: Ron Bahr, WR (first place); 800: Justin Rocha, GC (tie for fifth).

Games — 300: Justin Rocha, GC; Ron Bahr, WR; David Halseth, GC; Jim Charity, GC (tie for first).

ADULT WOMEN

Series — 704: Shelby Rouse, GC (eighth).

Games — 279: Angeline Spader, GC (tie for third).

SENIOR WOMEN

Games — 244: Kathy West, GC (tie for fourth).

YOUTH BOYS

Games — 279: Brayden Prockish, WR (tie for sixth).

Note: See the expanded honor roll at http://cjonline.com/sports/bowling.

Last week’s city leaders

(League scores from Jan. 25-31)

GAGE CENTER BOWL

Men’s series — Justin Rocha 800, David Halseth 784, Jim Charity 740, Brett Starbuck 737, Darrell Harris 728, Andre Nelson 725, Jim Charity 722, Neil Grame 719, Matt Phelps 716, Ron Raines 709.

Men’s games — Justin Rocha 300, David Halseth 300, Jim Charity 300, Charlie Armstrong 290, Jim Charity 289, Ron Raines 278, David VanMeter 278, Matt Phelps 277, Andre Nelson 269, Robert Raye 269.

Women’s series — Shelby Rouse 704, Sonia Parrish 673, Chelsie Bahr 671, Angeline Spader 666, Rhiannon Ross 663, Michelle Springer 655, Sheryl Berroth 646, Rachel Barber 641, Kathy Bredahl 623, Belinda Kern 597.

Women’s games — Angeline Spader 279, Chelsie Bahr 258, Rhiannon Ross 256, Shelby Rouse 248, Belinda Kern 247, Kara Tidwell 242, Rachel Barber 237, Amber Huske 235, Michelle Springer 234, Sonia Parrish 230.

Senior men — Dennis Uhl 248/686, Elex Carter 225/648, Ron Barber 225/641, Charlie Heideman 236/627, Larry Rosetta 243/624, Kenny Anderson 238.

Senior women — Stacey Croskey 206/566, Carol Tyler 192/538, Barb Tidwell 526, Phyllis Zentner 203/512, Kathy West 244/508, Alice Hudson 189.

Youth boys — Logan Glinka 185/490, Jimmy Hester 185/478, William Shaeffer 212/457, Josh Hammons 182.

Youth girls — Majayla Boyd 187/447.

WEST RIDGE LANES

Men’s series — Ron Bahr 836, Allen Payne 767, Craig Trapp 761, Jason Crouch 739, Geoff Poston 728, Kyle Turner 727, Curt Freed 725, Dylan Burns 724, LaVern Hale 724, Geoff Poston 720.

Men’s games — Ron Bahr 300, Ron Bahr 289, Craig Trapp 279, Ryan Essman 279, Curt Freed 279, Russ Wilson 278, Adam Lynn 278, Allen Payne 278, Jason Crouch 278, Jon Abernathy 277, Justin Allensworth 277.

Women’s series — Chelsie Bahr 678, Shelbie Epperson 658, Shelbie Epperson 651, Rachel Payne 623, Melissa Urich 615, Rachel Barber 588, Ida Bartlett 580, Mindy Worthing 564, Kelsey Diven 563, Mona Brown 561.

Women’s games — Chelsie Bahr 257, Rachel Payne 247, Ida Bartlett 242, Shelbie Epperson 236, Mindy Worthing 226, Melissa Urich 225, Shelbie Epperson 225, Vicki Williams 215, Lisa Benge 210, Kristina Walker 210.

Senior men — Gary Hamilton 248-226-247/721, David Dennison 248/663, Len Kelly 246/655, Rick Schauff 256/649, Mark Gingrich 239/648, Hank Halseth 248/637, Keith Combes 634, Claude Coffman 631, Larry Turner 254, Chuck Coffee 245, Dick Feldman 244, Jim Murray 244.

Senior women — Cleora Cushinberry 202/574, Carol Tyler 222/574, Colleen Belt 538, Marlene Flowers 202/537, RoxAnn Crowder 518, Gwen Youngblood 512, Pearl Colby 508, Kay Johnson 501.

Youth boys — Jordan Freed 237/680, Adam Wood 226/660, Brayden Prockish 279/642, Clayton Mumford 226/637, John Baeten 225/630, Caleb Drane 235, Matt Peoples 234.

Youth girls — Hannah Casto 209/556.

Topeka USBC Women’s
City Tournament

At Gage Center Bowl

UNOFFICIAL FINAL LEADERS

Team — 1. Sherry’s Team, 2,651; 2. Ann’s Team, 2,615; 3. Cleora’s Team, 2,597; 4. It’s A Family Thing, 2,565; 5. (tie) Silent Ringers and Bonita’s Team, 2,556. Low to cash: 2,556.

Doubles — 1. Liz Feiden/Barbara Whistler, 1,392; 2. Tori Simpson/Sheryl Berroth, 1,375; 3. Lynn Couch/Debbie Dew, 1,336; 4. Bobbie Mason-Benning/Stacey Croskey, 1,333; 5. Nancy Pressgrove/Holly Kemper, 1,317; 6. Ann Copeland/Sis Long, 1,311; 7. Constance Emperley/Diane Howland, 1,309. Low to cash: 1,309.

Singles — 1. Christy Hatfield, 761; 2. Barbara Whistler, 739; 3. Bonita Robins, 706; 4. Toni Cloud, 697; 5. Nancy Pressgrove, 689; 6. Yolanda Gay, 682; 7. Diane Howland, 681; 8. Brenda Redmon, 680; 9. (tie) Tori Simpson and Constance Emperley, 678; 11. Sue Eiseman, 674; 12. RoxAnn Crowder, 673; 13. Tammy Blake, 669; 14. Liz Feiden, 668; 15. Jeanie Wyrick, 667. Low to cash: 668.

All-events — 1. Barbara Whistler, 2,109; 2. Christy Hatfield, 2,068; 3. Tori Simpson, 2,035; 4. Debbie Dew, 2,022; 5. (tie) Yolanda Gay and Letha Waggle, 2,003; 7. Nancy Pressgrove, 1,997; 8. Constance Emperley, 1,988; 9. Toni Cloud, 1,984; 10. Bernie Schuette, 1,977; 11. Sheryl Berroth, 1,974; 12. Cleora Cushinberry, 1,972; 13. Jeanie Wyrick, 1,966; 14. LeAnne Springsteen, 1,965; 15. Marsha Moore, 1,964; 16. Sis Long, 1,963; 17. Phyllis Zentner, 1,960; 18. (tie) Liz Feiden and Bonita Robins, 1,958; 20. Ann Copeland, 1,942; 21. (tie) Sue Eiseman and Gloria Beck, 1,933; 23. (tie) Sandra Biber and Joanne Beier, 1,930. Low to cash: 1,930.

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