Athens, OH 1 February 2018 –
Although it was cold and dreary on the outside, the action could be nothing but hot inside Roller Bowl Lanes in uptown Athens. February 1st was the date of the first annual Russ College Engineering Ambassadors Bowlathon. It was bound to be a great one.
By the time 7:10 pm struck, the teams were set, the smelly 90s-era bowling shoes were laced, and the participants selected their 10 to 16 pound spherical weapons of choice. The match was destined for glory as Team Randy Savage (featuring Andrew “Randy” Videmsek, Sean Neef, Matthew McKenzie, and Emily Morello) set off to face Team Gutter Balls (featuring Joe Meyer, Jordan Osman, and Mollie Whitacre).
Team Randy Savage started off the first game on fire with strong performances by the captain Randy Videmsek and veteran bowler Sean Neef. Role player Matt McKenzie also played an outstanding hand in the first game, finding the game’s first strike and hitting a double in the later frames.
Team Gutter Balls sputtered to a slow start due to some rust in the throwing arms and some early missed spares. Yet, the team was anchored by star player Mollie Whitacre, who finished the game with a strong 156 and only 3 open frames. Overall though, Team Savage took a commanding lead early and didn’t give up, finishing the game with a total team score of 403.
Early in the second game, the pressure started to mount on both sides. Spares and strikes were flying left and right as it became a shoot-out between the two star-studded teams. The crowd of Athens locals roared as fan favorite Jordan Osman showed off his amazing trick shot skills, laying down incredible backwards between the leg throws.
Joe Meyer also got the crowd on their feet as he hurled his fiery orange ball down the lane at incredible speeds. For Team Savage, Randy Videmsek and Matt McKenzie showed pinpoint accuracy and power on their straight down the middle strike shots.
Towards the end, it was an incredible dual between Mollie Whitacre and Sean Neef, as both players traded strikes and spares. It was clear that Mollie Whitacre was a force to be reckoned with, as shown by her great 160 score and consistent spare making ability. Sean Neef struggled to pick up the 10 pin spare, as his spare ball took a while to dial in. In the end though, Team Savage took game 2 due to solid performances team-wide.
In the third and final game, Team Savage made a late addition, adding rookie bowler Emily Morello to the active lineup. Although the power was not yet there in her shot, Morello’s accuracy made up for it, consistently hitting 8 and 9 pin first throws. For Team Gutter Balls, Mollie Whitacre continued to dominate the individual performance rankings, completely overshadowing the rest of the field. She scored an incredible 189 game with multiple doubles and only two open frames. Yet in the end, her performance was not enough to match the team consistency of Team Savage. Although Team Gutter Balls took home the final game, the match win went to Team Savage for overall pin count.
It was an amazing spectacle to observe on a cold February night in beautiful uptown Athens. The locals can’t wait for the next match to take place. Jersey sales for Whitacre and Osman are already through the roof, and fanfare is alive in the hills of southeast Ohio. Even though there were winners and losers on the lanes tonight, the real winners were all of the Ambassadors. They enjoyed cold drinks, great atmosphere, and best of all… great friendship. Reporting from Roller Bowl Lanes on Palmer Street, this is Civil Engineering senior Sean Neef signing out.