Editor's note: Because of production problems, Don Vitek's column last week did not appear in some editions. It is being rerun this week.
Cassandra Mitchell captured first place, John Jennings was second and Mike Frock third in the first Carroll Youth Tournament at County Lanes on Jan. 22, sponsored by the Bank of Maryland.
Cassandra, 9, lives in Westminster with her parents, Martha and Bill Mitchell, and is in the third grade at Westminster Elementary.
In her second year of bowling tenpins, she carries a 83 average. In the tournament, which drew 36 entries and used a pins-over-average format, her three-game score was 105 pins over average.
John, 14, an eighth-grader at East Middle School, carries a 135 average in the Saturday morning YABA league at Thunderhead Westminster with a career-high game of 256 and a high series of 524. In the tournament, he fired 148, 154 and 184 -- 94 pins over average.
Mike, 15, lives in Hampstead and bowls in the YABA at Hampstead Lanes. He tied for third with Vince Horneff (88 over average) and won a roll-off.
Free State Classic
The Free State Classic Tenpin Tour stopped at County Lanes last month. The weekend event drew 76 entries.
Brian McConnell posted a scratch series of 767 and picked up 39 handicap pins to take the $800 first-place prize.
Richard Frock won $400 for second. His scratch set was 596, his handicap 165.
Denny Bowers added 60 handicap pins to his scratch set of 697 for
the third prize of $250.
Tony Gatta rolled a a scratch set of 720 and added 30 pins for his 750 total and a check for $60.
Just call him Headpin
Ben Welty of Hampstead came close to perfection earlier this season as he tied the Hampstead Bowling Center house record for a single game with a 299 in the American Legion league.
Welty bowls tenpins in two leagues, one at Hampstead and the Monday Mixed at County lanes in Westminster. He carries a 179 average with a 14-pound Blue hammer bowling ball and has a lifetime high series of 649.
Welty has a new ring coming for his achievement, plus a new nickname.
"Yeah, folks are starting to call me Headpin," he said with x xTC laugh.
After throwing 11 strikes in his 299 game he blew past the headpin on his last ball. That left three pins standing, including the headpin, and he watched while the mixing action on the pin deck dropped two of the three standing pins.
When it was all over, the single pin left standing was the headpin.
Never give up hope
Harriet Vecchioni of Hampstead, who bowls in the Sunday mixed league at Hampstead Bowling Center, has been bowling tenpins since the early '70s and averages 160.
"After all those years I never had a 600 set," she said. "And I was just about giving up hope."
Not to worry -- earlier this season she posted games of 168, 238 and 214 for a 620 series. The 238 is a career high.