Special Olympics Indiana Jackson County has seven bowlers rolling on to state.
Becky Klosterman, Dale Hickman, Donald Bennethum, Dennis England, Rob Smith, Adam Lee and Isaiah Burnett will represent Jackson County at the state tournament Dec. 7 in Indianapolis.
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That day, areas 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 10 will bowl from 1 to 5:30 p.m., while areas 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 will compete in the morning session from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Klosterman followed up her win at the county tournament Oct. 16 at Scottsburg Bowling Lanes by capturing first in her division at the Area 2 tournament Nov. 2 at Blackiston Bowl in Clarksville.
Through her three games, she finished with a handicap score of 635, edging teammate Hickman, who scored 632. She scored 671 in the county tournament.
“Everything was going good,” Klosterman said, smiling. “It was a lot of fun going against the counties. It was just a lot of experience.”
She said she didn’t expect to end the day with a gold medal.
“That was a very good experience,” she said. “It means a lot to me. I worked really hard.”
Hickman improved from the county tournament, where he finished fifth with 601.
“Amazing,” he said of winning the silver medal.
“She’s one good bowler,” Hickman said of going against Klosterman again.
Jackson County’s other 1-2 showing was by Bennethum and England, scoring 697 and 629, respectively.
Bennethum had a big jump from his 625 at the county tournament. England took the win in their division that day by scoring 655.
“I got a lot of strikes,” Bennethum said of his three games at the area tournament.
He said he didn’t expect to finish first out of seven bowlers in his division. Jackson County’s Roger Hanner, Joya Buddo and Brad Blakely finished fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.
“I guess I was surprised and I was happy about it. It means I did good,” Bennethum said with a big smile.
Smith placed second out of seven bowlers in his division, scoring 605. Teammate Kayla Kriete was fifth.
“I was happy about that,” Smith said of earning a silver medal. “I feel I did right. There were a couple times I missed, but I got more in. It was fun.”
Lee tied for second in his division with 612. He also placed second in the county tournament, where he scored 603.
Teammates Robin Moore and Montana Casto placed fifth and sixth, respectively, at area.
Lee said he finished strong because he was focused while going against good competition.
“I did not expect this to happen at all. It means everything. It makes me tear up a little bit,” he said. “I felt good just making new friends and getting to know about other people.”
Burnett was among three Jackson County bowlers competing in the age 12 to 21 division. He was the only one to advance, placing fourth with 590. Alysha Sandlin was close behind with 588, placing fifth. In a separate division, Averie Brennan placed sixth.
Other placings for Jackson County were sixth for Josh Beals and seventh for Eric Jackson and Cheroki Isgrigg.
The Area 2 tournament consisted of bowlers from Jackson, Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Jefferson, Switzerland, Orange and Scott counties bowling in the morning and Bartholomew, Brown, Jennings, Clark, Floyd and Washington counties in the afternoon.
Thinking ahead to state, Lee said he has gone three times, Hickman said this will be his second and the others will be going for the first time.
“I will try to get first. There’s going to be some competition,” Lee said.
“I will try to get strikes up there, too,” Bennethum said.
“I’m looking forward to being around other counties and just having fun and enjoying it,” Klosterman said.
The ramp and singles competitions will be Dec. 7 at Woodland Bowl and Western Bowl, and the unified four-person team competition is set for Dec. 8 at Woodland Bowl.
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The Special Olympics Indiana state bowling tournament is Dec. 7 and 8 in Indianapolis.
The ramp and singles competitions are Dec. 7 at Woodland Bowl, 3421 E. 96th St., and Western Bowl, 6441 W. Washington St.
The morning session from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. is for areas 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9
The afternoon session from 1 to 5:30 p.m. is for areas 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 and 10.
Jackson County, which is in Area 2, will have seven bowlers competing.
From 1 to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 8, the unified four-person team competition will be at Woodland Bowl.