Tarkington tosses 300 gem in fellowship #Bowling #NENCsports


Mike Hawkins Bowling Columnist


By Mike Hawkins

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Albemarle Lanes opened the doors of its current location in 1965.

In its first 26 years of existence, there was a total of zero perfect games rolled.

Since the first rolled in 1991, there have now been a total of 92 perfect games tossed in Elizabeth City.

Number 92 came compliments of Mark Tarkington, rolling during the Fellowship League last Tuesday night.

The fact that Mark recorded a 300 score comes as no real surprise, as he now has a total of 47 such games with 24 coming inside the local center.

Last Tuesday’s bowling put even Tarkington in rarified air as he not only tossed the first dozen strikes, but added the next six as well for an opening 18-bagger!

To my knowledge the front 18 has only been exceeded once.

Wayne Beasley led off with the front 19 when he set a then state record of 865, which not only started with a perfect game, but ended with one too!

Tarkington’s path to 300 has been a true family adventure.

Mark shared with me that he first began bowling with his parents, Ronnie and Diana Tarkington, when they would go with his dad’s coworkers.

Those occasional outings got him a interested in the game to the point that his grandfather, Ed Hewitt, would take him bowling after school on many days.

Since those after school days, Tarkington has married a bowler, the former Bobbi Jo Owen, who’s not a bad bowler herself.

Among Mark’s long list of bowling accomplishments, he considers the 2010 state doubles title with his wife as one of his most memorable.

Also on the impressive resume of the 4-year PBA member is that he has won the All-Events Scratch Title of the NC USBC Open twice, likely making him the only person in North Carolina to hold that distinction.

Of the 47 lifetime perfect games, Tarkington, who works full time as a Software Engineer at the Coast Guard base, one came during the 1999 state tournament in Wilmington, and another during a Professional Bowlers Association event in Myrtle Beach last April.

He also runs the Gutterline Pro Shop at Albemarle Lanes during his spare time.

Congratulations, Mark, on some great bowling!

To go along with Tarkington’s 300-741 masterpiece, a few other bowlers had top efforts as well.

Lee Owen fired a 230 en route to a 648 series.

Lee broke the 200 barrier in all three of his games.

Jason Small punched out a 245 game and Jeffrey Barefoot bagged a nice 225 game.

On the ladies side of the Fellowship League, Kaytee Simpson (222-564), Bobbi Jo Tarkington (188-532), and Brittney Gaumond (187-518) led the way.

With the abbreviated week of league action due to the snow and ice storm, this might be a good time to share the effects of the weather on a bowling ball.

Working at Albemarle Lanes, I see a number of league bowlers come in each night to compete in their weekly league session.

While many bowlers rent lockers to keep their equipment, many of them come in with their rolling bags in tow.

It’s these bowlers to whom I ask this question; “Where do you keep your bowling balls during the week?”

Your car’s trunk is not the ideal place to store your bowling balls, especially when temperatures become extreme.

Car trunks can become saunas in the summer and freezers in the winter.

Whether hot or cold, a bowling ball’s surface hardness will be temporarily thrown off.

A ball left outside in freezing temperatures is going to become rock solid and will slide down the lane, fighting to create any friction needed to give the bowler just a wrinkle of hook.

Just last week, I had a bowler bring his ball to me with a perfect crack all the way around the circumference.

This happened as a result of the ball being left in his car the night before.

In the summer, extreme heat will soften the ball’s surface and cause it to hook more than expected.

So, when does league preparation begin?

As soon as you walk off the lanes each night, preparation for next week begins with where you store your bowling balls prior to your next league night.

If you need a place to store your equipment, ask someone at Albemarle Lanes about renting a locker.

Until next week, good luck and good bowling!