A lot of really good bowlers have never gotten within shouting distance of an 800 series.
In fact, there's a lot of bowlers who have bowled perfect 300 games who have never reached 800.
So you can imagine the excitement for John Baeten, the entire Seaman bowling program and coach Geoff Poston when the Viking junior bowled an 801 series in Thursday's Washburn Rural quadrangular at West Ridge Lanes.
Baeten, who uses a two-hand delivery, put together games of 266 and 257 in his first two games before ending his spectacular day with a 278, going over 800 with a strike on his very last ball.
"I had a 745 last year and this just blew it out of the water,” said Baeten, who led Seaman to the boys team title by 282 pins. "I don't think I had too many bad shots. I had one 7-10 (split), but otherwise it was just great. It was a good day for me.”
Baeten started his day with six straight strikes before the 7-10 in the seventh frame, the only frame he didn't mark in all day.
He struck out the rest of the way in the first game and recorded nine straight strikes to end his second game after starting with three straight spares. Baeten bowled 11 strikes with a mid-game spare in his final game.
"The way I look at it is I go one frame at a time,” Baeten said. "I look at it as that it's good that I threw a strike in the last frame or it's bad that I threw a split or had a miss, but the good part is forgetting about it and throwing the next one. That's what you've got to do.”
Poston, an outstanding bowler himself, was thrilled with Baeten's performance.
"To be that consistent for three games is really hard to do,” Poston said. "There's some nights you're throwing the ball really well and you shoot 650. But to be able to carry like that and be able to string (strikes) together like he did, he just got himself lined out, and when he's like that he can really roll the ball.”
Seaman ended up winning the boys title by a 2,752-2,470 margin over Topeka West, with freshman Noah Belt finishing third individually for the Vikings with a 677 series.
Washburn Rural's Dylan Casto was second with a 694 series, while Topeka West's Dom Phillips was fourth with a 667 and the Chargers' Adam Wood was fifth with a 652.
Sophomore Kishno Bell made it a Seaman sweep of the individual titles, with Bell taking first in the girls division with a 687 series.
Washburn Rural won the girls team title by a 2,361-2,194 margin over Seaman, with the Junior Blues putting three bowlers in the top five.
"Between 2,350 and 24 (hundred), that's what they've been doing and where we'd like to see them,” Rural coach Ed Lee said of the Junior Blues' winning score. "We started off the year a little lower, around the 22s, but we're gradually getting up there.”
Rural's Whitney Prockish, the defending Class 6A state champ, finished second with a 663 series while Gabi Millard was third with a 616 and Cheyenne Cook was fifth with a 559.
Topeka West's Renee Howland was fourth individually with a 607 series.
Seaman 2,752, Topeka West 2,470, Lawrence 2,432, Washburn Rural 2,427.
1. Baeten, Sea, 801; 2. Casto, WR, 694; 3. Belt, Sea, 677; 4. Phillips, TW, 667; 5. Wood, TW, 652.
Washburn Rural 2,361, Seaman 2,194, Lawrence 2,103, Topeka West 1,975.
1. Bell, Sea, 687; 2. Prockish, WR, 663; 3. Millard, WR, 616; 4. Howland, TW, 607; 5. Cook, WR, 559.