By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Word to the wise: if Nick Blythe ever challenges you to a game of bowling, walk away. At the very least, you’ll save face.
On St. Patrick’s Day earlier this year, Blythe, son of Jeff and Cindy Blythe, bowled his first 300 game at the tender age of 13. Since then, he’s done it once more. But last Saturday, Oct. 20, he topped both by bowling an 800 series, 802 to be exact.
“I didn’t even know how close I was until after I was done. I had to strike the first frame in the tenth of the final to get it, but I didn’t know that at the time,” said Blythe, now 14.
Blythe recorded scores of 267, 246, and 289 for the three-game series. His average is 224.
“The 800 series actually feels a bit better than the 300 games because it’s a bigger accomplishment,” he said.
Blythe usually heads to Town & Country Lanes with no fewer than four balls in tow. He has a collection of about 40 at home. He pulled the orange-and-red marbled ball he shot the 800 series with out of mothballs only a week before.
“I shot a 726 series with it the week before, but I hadn’t bowled with it for a while,” Blythe said. “I throw a few shots just to see how the lanes are and narrow it down to one or two for the games.”
In September, Blythe took part in the Sunset Lanes Classic tournament in Beaverton and walked off with first place and a $100 scholarship.
Blythe qualified second then leaped into the lead with a 299 game in his opening match and never looked back. He won all six of his matches to win the title and finished with 2,500 points total. Note, too, that his competition was anywhere from three to six years older.
With so many accomplishments already, Blythe has only one major bowling achievement left unconquered: a 900 series, or three perfect games. To date, only 20 bowlers have achieved such heights, but Blythe has a lifetime ahead of him.