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Perfect twice over

By NICK NARIGON

bowler
Karmen Munson, Williamsburg, bowled two perfect games at Lucky 6 Lanes, Marengo, Friday, March 26. It is believed Munson is the first woman in the state of Iowa to pull off this rare feat.

Twenty-six throws, 26 strikes. Back to back perfection.

Karmen Munson, 47, Williamsburg, bowled consecutive 300 games the night of Friday, March 26, at Lucky 6 Lanes, Marengo. It is believed Munson is the first woman in the state of Iowa to accomplish this feat, and possibly the first woman in the country.

“I was hitting my mark well,” Munson said. “It was amazing. That’s all I can say.”

The mother of two said she is an avid bowler, but doesn’t take the game too seriously. She plays in two leagues at Lucky 6 — the Tuesday night women’s league and the Friday night mixed league.

 “It’s all about fun and this was just a bonus. Just living the dream,” she said.

The Friday night of the back to back perfect games, Munson said didn’t feel different than any other night.

“It was the last day at work. Ready to relax. Ready for the weekend,” she said.

Cindy McBride, who co-owns Lucky 6 Lanes with her husband Dick, said Munson “was just smooth as could be.”

 “It was awesome. Especially for a woman to do it, it’s awesome,” McBride said.

Completing the first perfect game was special, Munson said. She hugged her husband Kollin, who is on her mixed team sponsored by Brenda’s Hair Studio, and “high-fived a bunch of other people.”

The second game was surreal, she said. She didn’t realize what was happening until she threw a strike in the ninth frame.

“My heart was beating. Here we go again,” she said.

In the 10th frame, Munson said Dick McBride’s voice was in her head.

“He said if you are nervous, the ball speed goes down. So I adjusted to that,” Munson said.

When the second perfect game was completed, she said she collapsed in her husband’s arms and cried.

By the third game, Munson said her 14-pound bowling ball, a Nomad Pearl she bought last November, felt like 50 pounds. In the first frame she missed the strike, leaving the seven-pin standing, ending her streak.

Munson is quick to give credit for her success to her husband, who has been very supportive, and to Dick and Cindy McBride. The McBrides have helped coach Munson ever since she took up bowling 15 years ago, she said.

“None of this would ever have happened without Dick and Cindy’s support. They made it all possible. They have been there for me for years,” she said.

She said she has come a long way since she first started. A gifted athlete, Munson played basketball in high school and played softball regularly. An avid bow hunter, Munson bagged an 11-point buck this past winter.

“I guess I’m just good at games where you have to aim at targets,” Munson said.

She said bowling came fairly naturally to her. She originally had a K-Mart ball, but after a couple of years, she bought a fitted ball, which made all the difference. She said her score made a 50-point improvement.

Munson now competes in the state bowling tournament every year and sometimes bowls in the national tournament.

Her previous high score for three rounds was 702, which she bowled last month. Her previous high score for one game was 277, and Munson’s average is 188.

Munson now holds a record that may never be broken.

“This was more exciting than the 11 point buck,” Munson said.

For rolling back-to-back 300 games, she will receive a ring and pendant from the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).

Charla Green, association manager for the Iowa State USBC Women’s Bowling Association, said as to her knowledge, no woman in the state of Iowa has ever bowled back-to-back 300 games. She said Munson may have set a national record as well.

“This is extremely rare,” Green said. ”A girl getting 300 is exciting. Getting two in a row is unheard of. This is big.”

Cindy McBride said the lanes at Lucky 6 are certified and have been inspected. She said the ball Munson was using was also certified.

Dick McBride, who has owned Lucky 6 since 1988, said Munson’s accomplishment is one of a kind.

“I’ve been bowling my whole life and I have never seen anything like it,” he said.

UPDATED April 10, 2010 11:02 AM

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