9 Jackson County Special Olympics bowlers qualify for state

For Alysha Sandlin’s final frames of the day, the screen showed “X,” “X” and “X.”

Those three strikes gave her a personal-best game score of 133 after rolling games of 79 and 72.

As the results were read for her division, starting at sixth place, she realized her handicap score of 653 gave her a first-place finish and a gold medal.

She then put her hands in the air and jumped for joy.

A couple of weeks after the Special Olympics Indiana Area 2 bowling tournament Nov. 5 at Blackiston Bowl in Clarksville, Sandlin learned she was among nine Jackson County athletes who qualified for the state tournament. That’s set for 2 p.m. Dec. 3 at Western Bowl in Indianapolis.

Jackson County’s other gold medalist at the area tournament was Zack Campbell, who bowled games of 98, 74 and 93 and had a handicap score of 643. Second place scored 640, and then teammate Kayla Kriete was third with a handicap of 565.

Campbell and Kriete also qualified for the state tournament along with Jackson County teammates Tim Ashburn, Josh Beals, Owen Law, David Perrin, Rob Smith and Darrell Stevens.

Ashburn placed second in his division, which featured seven bowlers. His game scores were 124, 130 and 98, and he had a handicap score of 646.

Beals also placed second and earned a silver medal in his division. He bowled 116 his first game, dropped to 86 in his second game and then concluded strong with 145 for a handicap score of 584.

Law, Jackson County’s youngest athlete, only bowled two games since he’s in the 8 to 11 age group. His games were 56 and 59 and handicap score was 419 for a second-place finish.

Smith was another silver medalist for placing second in his division. His games went from 61 to 82 to 73, and his handicap score was 618.

Perrin earned a bronze medal for placing third in his division, rolling consistent scores of 90, 87 and 89 for a handicap score of 584.

The other bronze medal went to Stevens, who was in the same division as Sandlin. His games of 86, 74 and 85 and handicap score of 611 put him in third place.

Others from Jackson County in that division were Averie Brennan (fourth, 609) and Becky Klosterman (sixth, 590).

For the remaining results for Jackson County, Dale Hickman placed fourth (592) and Derrick Martin was fifth (561) in their division; Donald Bennethum took fifth (587) and Todd Smith finished seventh (553) in Ashburn’s division; Joya Buddo finished fourth (605) in her division; and Elijah Noble placed fifth (578) and Cassie Brock was sixth (568) in their division.

Jackson County’s nine state qualifiers will practice today and Nov. 29 at Scottsburg Lanes to prepare for the season-ending state tournament.