Cael Bohlen’s near-perfect 299 leads to individual, team records
By John Burbridge
CHARLES CITY — Standing on the approach for the final ball with a perfect “300” game on the line, Cael Bohlen saw 30 pins standing on the far side of the lane.
He ended up knocking down 29 of them.
“My vision must have been off,” Bohlen said. “It seemed like there were three times as many pins down there.”
Early into Friday’s high school dual with Charles City hosting Denver at Comet Bowl, the Comet sophomore right-hander sensed that he might be in an uncommon grove.
“I just felt a little better than normal out there today,” said Bohlen, who rolled a 270 in the first game of a two-game series.
Bohlen started the second game with 11 in a row.
“I was excited going into the 10th,” said Bohlen, whose career-best game up until then was a 290. “My last ball, I missed a board inside and got into some oil. It didn’t have enough drive into the pocket.”
Thus, the head-pin deflection of Bohlen’s ball prevented it from getting enough of the 5-pin to take out the 8-pin … the lone standing survivor in a 299 game.
Bohlen’s game tied a Charles City program record set a little less than two years ago by 2017 state girls individual champion Macy Ross. But Bohlen’s two-game series — 569 — broke Ross’s mark of 553 for highest ever bowled by a Comet.
Bohlen wasn’t the only high roller among the Comets. With two-game scores from Dillon Ross (470), Noah Reams (439), Cade Schmidt (416) and Kale Ross (413), added to a five-game baker rotation score of 972, the Comet boys boasted a total pinfall of 3,279, which sets a school record by 12 pins.
All this capped a pretty good week for the Comet bowlers, as well as for their coaches — Charles City assistant coach Tyler Mitchell rolled a 300 in league play the previous Sunday.
Denver senior Nathan Booms’s 491 series led the Cyclones, who finished 689 pins back of the undefeated Comets.
Even with his grandson coming within one pin of perfection and his team setting a new standard in its home-opener, Comet head coach Doug Bohlen still believes there’s room for improvement.
“We can throw strikes … and you can see that right here,” he said referring to the score sheet, “but we still need to work on our spares.”
Charles City’s girls team also won its home-opener while staying undefeated through two matches after besting Denver, 2,525 to 2,020. Heather Viers led the way with a 401 two-game series. Other recorded scores included Brianna Ross’s 341, Sarah Mitchell’s 330, Sophia Nelson’s 291 and Joslyn Cotton’s 285.