COMMUNITY: Strikezone’s turn to own city record

C.R. bowling team also sets state team standard

By Lane Lafler, community contributor
Published: May 10 2014 | 4:33 pm - Updated: 10 May 2014 | 8:15 pm in Bowling, Community Corner by JR Ogden, Gazette, Sports,

It seems like the old saying “records were made to be broken” is right on target this year in Cedar Rapids.

Now the question is, how long will these hold up?

The city record of 3782 pins by Denny’s Muffler of Lancer Lanes had stood since 2005. It was broken on February 7 by Lancer Pro Shop of the May City Majors with scratch series of 3806. That record was then broken just 10 weeks later on April 18 by yet another team from the May City Majors.

Strikezone Pro Shop rolled a scratch series of 3875, setting a city record by 69 pins and a state record by 53. The previous state record of 3822 was set in 2006 by a team from Davenport.

Strikezone now also owns the top scratch series in the nation this year.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be a part of record team like this,” Jeremy McKeehan said. “It is still sinking in.”

Other members of Strikezone Pro Shop, which carries a team average of 1125, are Duane Kilts, Josh VanThournout, Drew Balta and Dan Balta. They have played together for four years.

“When Jeremy and I graduated from high school we always wanted to bowl on the same team, in the Majors, so we added my Dad, Josh, as well as Duane and here we are,” Drew Balta said.

The city and state record series of 3875 consisted of team games of 1350, 1361 and 1164. Kilts led with a 795 series with games of 279, 248 and 268, followed closely by Drew Balta’s 794 (259, 256 and 279). VanThournout, McKeehan and Dan Balta all rolled 300 games in their series. VanThournout rolled a 781 (279, 202), Dan Balta a 769 (257, 212) and McKeehan a 736 (233-203).

Strikezone as a team threw 132 strikes out of a possible 180 for a strike percentage of 73 percent.

“That was awesome seeing the first 24 strikes in a row through the first five frames in the second game,” Drew Balta said.

“Wow, that was a lot of strikes,” McKeehan said.

“Just trying to keep it going and not get too uptight,” VanThournout said.

Kilts said “we were having fun and not being too serious, which helped us relax and stay on our game.”

McKeehan, Drew Balta and Kilts all credited their dads with getting them started in the game while VanThournout said he was self taught, but credited Mike Core with “the spare game.”

“... (I) owe my success to him by just trying to live up to his legacy on the lanes,” Drew Balta said of his dad and teammate.

Chemistry is a key to Strikezone’s success.

“We communicate when we see a change in the way the ball reacts,” Drew Balta said. “We’re a very competitive team, but always help out when someone is struggling.”


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