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Intramural bowling strikes up fun

BY MITCH SMITH | NOVEMBER 11, 2009 7:20 AM

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In the 1996 comedy Kingpin, Woody Harrelson plays a bowling aficionado who wins the Iowa state amateur bowling championship.

Fast forward to Monday and Tuesday, where several students took to Colonial Lanes trying to emulate Harrelson, hoping for strikes, spares, and turkeys at the Recreational Services annual intramural bowling tournament.

The two-day event drew 16 four-person teams. Each team played three games, with the winner being the squad with the highest total team score.

The team champion of the event was the Mark Wahlberg Experience, taking the title for the third-consecutive year.

The squad comprises third-year pharmacy student Kyle Slings, juniors Cameron Huggins and Nick Lenth, and freshman Travis Hansen. All of the members of the Mark Wahlberg Experience also play on the Iowa club bowling team.

“Bowling runs in my family,” said Huggins, whose highest score was a 227. “My dad has bowled for a long time and still does. I learned from him. We’ve all probably bowled since we were 5 or 6 years old.”

The Mark Walhberg Experience dominated the event with a team score of 2,474 — an average score of 206. Lenth led the squad with a 203, 276, and 227, respectively.

Lenth, Slings, and Hansen have all bowled 300 games at one point in their lives. Hansen’s name currently graces the Colonial Lanes entrance sign because he bowled a 300 game last week, earning him a $300 prize.

Huggins, on the other hand, has yet to reach the coveted 300 mark, but he has bowled 299 six times.
“It’s not even a pressure situation anymore,” he said. “I’m just like, ‘Come on, knock that one pin over already.’ It’s more annoying than anything.”

The team members said they were thrilled to win the illustrious intramural champion T-shirts for the third-straight year and that they are poised to win it again next year. Although, they may recruit other members of the club bowling team or split up the current intramural team in order for the event to be more competitive.

Other than lane No. 2, where the Mark Wahlberg Experience racked up strikes, it looked as if Colonial Lanes was filming one of its strange, yet highly popular commercials on Monday.

Numerous bowlers donned different costumes, such as pajamas, orange wigs, and tiaras. A woman even dressed in a dice costume.

“It’s a little more laid-back than the flag-football games,” associate intramural director Mike Widen said. “It’s not so much our team versus your team. It’s more of a social sport. That’s what bowling is meant to be.”

The tournament has been held for at least the past 15 years, Widen said.

The celebrations at Colonial Lanes put Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco to shame, with numerous students showing off their dance moves after a particularly good shot.

A.J. Haduch raised his hands in jubilation after bowling a 184. With sweat pouring down his face, the Iowa senior looked like he had just run a marathon.

He said he had never bowled higher than 130 and is normally thrilled if he breaks 100. Haduch’s squad took first-place in the co-rec division.

Wayne Fett’s team appeared to be having the most fun. The senior associate director of Recreational Services wore a tiara with his name on it and celebrated a good shot by high-fiving his teammates, forming a “W” shape with his hands. The “W,” he said, stands for win.

“The first game, no one on our team broke 100,” said junior Jimmy Malewig, a member of Fett’s team. “The second game, we picked it up, and the third game we’re back to our old ways. We’ll probably come in last, but we’re having fun.”


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