The "X-Men" of Mount Airy Lanes are on their way to Hagerstown and a shot at a national title.
The "X-Men" are the five-member Prep division (ages 7-9) duckpin team that clinched their Western Maryland State title at Thurmont. On July 1 and 2 they'll be in Turner's Long Meadow Bowl in Hagerstown with 28 teams from Connecticut, Washington, Rhode Island, Virginia and Maryland.
The "X-Men," coached by Gina Fleming, are Zack Norris, Paul and Neil Kallgren, Ryan Smith and Chad Lindgren.
Lindgren and Norris are following in the footsteps of their older brothers who were part of the 1993 Prep team from Mount Airy that competed for a national title.
When asked who helped him with his game, Norris' answer was quick: "My brother and my uncle Chuck coach me."
His brother Jacob is now 11 years old, and his uncle is Chuck Denney.
Norris is a resident of Ijamsville and bowls in the NDYA Saturday morning league at Mount Airy. A fourth-grader at Kemptown Elementary School, he finished his first season with a 79 average.
He received a trophy for posting the high three-game set in the Prep Division, a 314.
Neil and Paul Kallgren of Ijamsville began their duckpin careers last fall at Mount Airy lanes in the NDYA Saturday morning league.
Neil, 8, a third-grader at Kemptown Elementary, carried a 54 average for his first season and had a high individual game of 93.
Paul, 10, a fourth-grader at Kemptown Elementary, finished his first year of competitive bowling with an 82 average. His 112 individual game was high for his age group and he received a trophy for the feat.
Smith, 10, lives in Mount Airy. A fourth-grader at Twin Ridge Elementary School, he probably got a little coaching from his mother, Lisa. She broke the Mount Airy Lanes house record for a women's three-game series. Last year, she fired games of 167, 168, 192 for a 527 set.
Lindgren, 9, was the anchor man on the "X-Men." A right-hander, he lives in Mount Airy and began bowling two years ago.
His brother, Brett, a lefty who divides his time between duckpins and Little League baseball, was a member of the 1993 Prep team that went to the national event that year.
Chad, a fifth-grader at Twin Ridge Elementary, had a high game of 111 this year. His 89 average earned a trophy for being the best in the Prep division at Mount Airy Lanes.