Patrick Spitz of Grafton High School didn't know just how special the 800 series he'd bowled on Feb. 16 really was; that is, until Sunday afternoon. It was extra special — believed to be a first in the history of the 49th annual Youth City Bowling Tournament.
Longtime youth bowling official Kathy Yacconi confirmed on Sunday that she had searched through records going back more than a decade and couldn't find anyone having accomplished the feat. And Mary Pancoast, who has been working with youth leagues for more than 20 years, also is confident that Spitz' 800 is a first for the tournament.
"It was a fantastic day," Spitz said about his career-high day that included 28 out of a possible 36 strikes at Classic Lanes.
Never before had he rolled higher than a 726 series anywhere or bowled higher than a 268 game in sanctioned play.
This time he broke loose for games of 275, 290 and 235 to shoot 800 on the button.
"I got just enough," the 17-year-old said. "I needed nine pins on my first ball in the 10th and that's what I got."
It didn't even matter that he failed to pick up the spare.
The dramatics capped an outstanding season for Spitz, who finished second in the Peninsula High School Scratch League a week earlier with 116 points. He closed with a 197 average for the 16-week season.
Ben Cash, a junior at Gloucester High, took top honors with 127 points. He also shot the high scratch series, a 795, and compiled the highest-season average (209).
The high game went to Zach Stepp of Menchville, who rolled the first 300 game in the history of the scratch league.
Victoria White topped the girls with a 171 average.
Alec Manriquez finished third in the points race (106) and had a 206 average while Brandon Franklin was fourth in points (99) and second-highest in average (207).
In a tight race that went down to the wire, Balls of Glory from Grafton took the club division team title with 71 points with the trio of Michael Bittner, James Bittner and Ryan Jessup.
Only one point separated the next four teams — The Strikers of Tabb (70), Brothers from Other Mo's of Tabb (69), Falcon Mex-York (68) and Woodside (67).
Members of the runner-up Strikers included Daniel Deskins, Nicole Johnson and Molly Spruill.
In the Youth City Tournament, Nicholas Roberson and Curtis Oliver of Century Lanes earned a share of the spotlight by winning the Division II handicap doubles with one of the highest scores (1,606) in tournament history.
Amanda Carner, a senior at Menchville High, won three events and a pair of seconds to lead the Coast Guard Blue Dolphins at the State Senior Championships that ended a four-day run Sunday in Christiansburg.
Carner topped her showing with a Junior National qualifying time of 4 minutes, 15.20 seconds in the 400-yard individual medley. She also had wins in the 500 freestyle (4:53.87) and 200 IM (2:03.56), placed second in the 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke, and finished fourth in the 200 breast.
Community news: Grafton's Spitz bowls 800 series in Youth City tournament
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