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On April 30, during the Thursday morning Gems League, Dorinda Pastorek bowled a perfect game. She is just the fifth woman to bowl a 300 at the Columbia Brunswick Lanes and the only woman to do it during a daytime league.

"This is something that I wanted for a long time. Just the fact that I did it, I still can't believe it," she said.

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Pastorek started bowling in the mid-1990s, when she and her husband joined a league together.

She averaged 154 her first year. The next year her husband gave her a fingertip ball for her birthday and her average zoomed up to nearly 170. It is now 206.

With an average that high and the ability to string together strikes, several members of the Gems have felt that Pastorek would eventually get a 300.

The labor and delivery nurse at Howard County General Hospital has flirted with perfection before. In 2000, she bowled 299 while in a league with her husband.

"I got some lucky strikes," she said. She remembers one strike was a Brooklyn and another was ugly. Her last ball left the 7-pin. "It was not a very pretty game," she said. "That's why I'm proud of this one. All the balls were good balls."

Two weeks before her perfect game, Pastorek pre-bowled for her league and threw six consecutive strikes. The seventh ball was a good hit, but one pin stayed upright.

"I remember thinking: Great, just my luck. I'll bowl a 300 and nobody will see it."

That wasn't how it turned out. Her first two games that Thursday were slightly below her average, but, in the third game, she found her groove. As strike followed strike, members of the league started drifting down to the pair of lanes she was bowling on to watch.

"It seems like everybody was there, which was cool," she said. "I was very, very focused. I was trying to throw the same ball at the same speed. Your adrenaline takes over and you just kind of wing it. I wanted to stay in a routine."

As Pastorek lined up for her 12th and final ball, she took a deep breath and remembers thinking how quiet it was. It wasn't quiet after she threw her final strike.

Several years ago, Pastorek had a hole-in-one in golf. Bowling a 300 is much harder.

"You have to do the same thing 12 times," she said.

Preakness Veteran

Last Saturday was Dave Zipf's 50th Preakness.

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"It seems like yesterday," said the chief veterinarian of the Maryland Racing Commission.

Half a century ago, Zipf was two weeks from graduating from Ohio State University when he learned that the job he had lined up had fallen through, but there might be an opening with the Maryland Racing Commission. He submitted his résumé and was hired immediately.

Zipf and his wife, Jackie, are Columbia pioneers and their son, Michael, was the second baby born in Columbia.

Zipf has seen many of the Preakness' memorable moments. When Barbaro broke down in the 2006 race, Zipf was the first one there. "That was a sad experience," he said.

On a more positive note, Zipf said that Secretariat was fantastic. "He had the longest stride of any horse in history," he said. "Some horses are good at sprints. He could go any distance."

McFadden still on top

Paralympian Tatyana McFadden continues to set the pace. The Atholton graduate won her 10th consecutive major marathon in April. In fact, she won Boston and London in the same week.

McFadden has a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the distribution of a series of children's books she is writing. The first is "Ya Sama!" which means, "I can do it myself." That was McFadden's motto when she lived in a Russian orphanage.

One book will be about growing up in an orphanage, one about coming to America and one using sports to excel in life.

She is a role model for all of us.

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