By Jeff DeGraw
To achieve perfection in any athletic endeavor is difficult, especially at the high school level.
But this past Saturday at the 20th Annual Dane Walker girls bowling invitational at Strike & Spare lanes, hosted by Lockport high school, perfection was achieved.
Plainfield Central senior Megan Allensworth bowled her first 300 game of her life as well as the first perfect game in program history for the Wildcat girls team. It came in the second of the six games.
“That was my first 300 I have ever bowled and it’s such a great feeling,” Allensworth said. “I really didn’t even think about it until about the seventh or eighth frame. Then I just kept telling myself just throw the good shot and I believed I could do it.”
Central coach Connie McGrath had a feeling after about the eighth frame.
“It really didn’t set in until that eighth or ninth frame,” McGrath said. “Megan was spot on and she was so smooth. She was bowling so well I didn’t even realize how late it was in the game.”
But all of those feelings changed in the tenth frame for both bowler and coach. With word among the 20 varsity teams competing that perfection could happen the entire bowling ally’s focus was on the Central lanes.
“In the tenth frame I was shaking so bad and was so nervous,” Allensworth said. “The first ball of the tenth frame was big and it really helped getting that strike. I had noticed everything got a little quieter all around in that last frame. It wasn’t until I threw my final ball that I realized everyone was watching. It was so special and unbelievable.”
But, just like everyone who achieved the ultimate game in bowling, reality set in as she had four more games to bowl.
“It’s a great experience to have and I’m so proud, but you have to move forward and bowl the next game, you have to concentrate on the task at hand, not about what just happened,” Allensworth said.
“I’m so proud of Megan and it couldn’t happen to such a special young lady,” McGrath said. “She had had a special week, as she signed with the University of St. Francis earlier in the week to continue bowling in college and now the first 300 not only for her but our program.
“It’s amazing the camaraderie there is between this team and Megan is a very big part of that. The wins and looses as a coach are just numbers, but this is a moment I will always remember. I will always be aware that on December 16th this happened for our program.”
Allensworth, like all athletes has one big superstition – she must always wear her green Plainfield Central jacket before she bowls – you can bet that jacket will never leave her side.
The Wildcats finished third in the 16 team field, as Allensworth placed ninth overall with a six game total of 1,240.
“Today was a great day for Central bowling,” McGrath said. “We have placed well the last two weeks and we continue to get better and it means a lot doing it at this tournament.”
Lockport won the team title by 139 pins over Minooka, The Porters Bailey Delrose was the individual champion with a total of 1,420 over the six games.
Plainfield North finished ninth as Jenna Sussenbach placed eighth (1,243) and Plainfield South was 12th with Savannah Macgruder sixth overall (1,250).