By Dennis Clark
TERRE HAUTE — College bowling has returned to the Wabash Valley bowling scene.
If you guessed Indiana State University, you would be dead wrong. They have NOT resurrected their once-storied program that disbanded with a whimper a few years ago.
Followers of this column might recall that the ISU women’s team was national collegiate champion in 1984, and national runner-up in 1983 and 1985.
If you guessed Rose-Hulman, you can move to the head of the class.
While the early returns haven’t been dramatic in terms of high scores and tournament victories, the fact the Engineers are fielding a team for the first time since 1986 is dramatic enough.
Since this school year started, Rose has competed in four collegiate tournaments in Indianapolis (finishing 11th of 12 teams), Beaver Creek, Ohio (35th of 40 teams), Fairview Heights, Ill. (41st of 44 teams) and Lafayette (18th of 18 teams).
Competing in all four tournaments have been Ryan Pepmeier (Vincennes), Chris Iverson (Anchorage, Alaska), Ryan Mitchell (Fishers), Paul Grande (Warrick, R.I.) and Jeff Stuart (Cincinnati). Chris Huizenga (Schererville, Ohio) has competed in three of the events.
Iverson has led the team individually in three of the tournaments, with averages of 196.75, 189.2 and 181.67.
A female team member of the co-ed team — remember, Rose is a co-ed school — is Ally Cross, who bowled one game in the Brickyard Classic in Indianapolis.
Rose’s intercollegiate bowling team is a byproduct of the Rose-Hulman Bowling Club, which was formed in the 1998-99 school year as a campus/community activity through the Student Government Association.
The competitive team was the co-brainchild of Rose-Hulman Bowling Club President Matt Gildea and Pepmeier. Gildea secured the seed money for the team through the SGA, while Pepmeier set up the competition aspect with the United States Bowling Congress.
“[The Bowling Club] was set up for Rose-Hulman students. To get them off campus, get them away from homework and have a good time. Because of the [SGA], they can bowl three or four games for free,” Pepmeier said.
The club — which has about 30-40 participants each week — meets every Thursday that school is in session, except for final exam week, around 8:30 p.m. at Imperial Lanes.
Last year, the club conducted a quarterly no-tap tournament (Pepmeier won) as well as a faculty vs. student tournament (the team with Pepmeier as a member won). This year’s club events planned are the faculty/student, eight-pin no tap (both in the winter quarter) and a nine-pin no tap tournament (in spring quarter).
The Club is well-organized and even has a mission statement — “Encourage participation in the sport of bowling; to promote a competitive environment; to provide a means for improvement; and to maintain integrity and respect between all participants” — plus a constitution and bylaws.
The intercollegiate team members, 14 in all according to Pepmeier, practice from 9 p.m. to midnight on Tuesdays, from 2-5 p.m. on Sundays, with practice bowling donated by Imperial Lanes.
Like most of his Rose teammates, Pepmeier maintains a hectic schedule.
Besides the already-demanding academic load, plus practice time and traveling on weekends to tournaments, the computer engineering major also works on the school-sponsored Homework Hotline, the Student Alumni Association and is “involved with the [Bowling] Club as much as I can.”
One last note, the Rose bowling team is planning to host a collegiate tournament at Imperial Lanes on Dec. 2-3.
“We’re hoping to get anywhere from six to 10 teams to compete,” Pepmeier stated.
I I I
Vigo Bowl and Imperial Lanes reported several honor scores for the past week.
At Vigo Bowl, Marc Pruett had a pair of 300 games in the Union Hospital League (Nov. 6) and Davison Service Electric League (Nov. 9). A.J. Wilson also had a 300 game in the Bell Welding League on Nov. 3. Ryan “Bam Bam” Nichols recorded an 811 three-game series (278-279-254) in the Davison League, also on Nov. 9.
At Imperial Lanes, Larry Collier, Tom Jones and J.C. Dressler had 300 games in league play. Bob Acree had a near-miss 298 game, while Dressler parlayed his 300 game to a 801 three-game series.
In the Greater Terre Haute — I assume it’s the Men’s Tournament slated for Oct. 28-29 and Nov. 4-5 — Men’s Association Tournament, Crystal Sullivan recorded a 300 game.
We’ll attempt to post the final results of that tournament in the next Kegler’s Korner in two weeks.
I I I
Allen Breshears continues to impress in his freshman season for the men’s bowling team at Vincennes University.
Breshears had the second highest score of his school’s bowlers on their two teams competing in the 44-team Illinois BPA Classic in Fairview Heights on Oct. 28-29.
Playing on the VU “Blue” team which finished in 25th place, Breshears knocked down 1,694 pins in nine games for a 187 average. He also had the high game of 247 and three-game series of 601.