Dan Wuhrman wanted to go out with a bang. The Park Ridge senior did more than that Wednesday, as his final day as a high school bowler finished with a resounding boom.
Wuhrman fired only the fourth 300 game in the history of the NJSIAA boys individual tournament and went on to a third-place finish at Carolier Lanes. It was quite an exclamation point to his career.
â€œI never thought anything like this was possible,â€ Wuhrman said. â€œI went out the best I could and did the best I can. Iâ€™m proud to be where Iâ€™m standing now, even if I couldnâ€™t make it any further.â€
Wuhrman qualified for the second round with a 660 series that left him in 14th place after the opening session. He dazzled in the next three games, firing his 300 to open the second round. He wound up with a 748 series, moving all the way up to third place and a spot in the stepladder-format championship.
Wuhrman caught a break in the fourth-place game. He missed a 10-pin in the eighth frame, seemingly opening the door for Dale Barshewski of Keansburg in a close match. But Wuhrman recovered to finish with four straight strikes. Barshewski shockingly left the 3-6-7-10 split in the 10th. He was unable to convert the spare, giving Wuhrman a 216-201 victory.
Again, Wuhrman was forced to overcome adversity in the third-place game. He opened in the third and fourth frames against Diante Fields of Kingsway. Fields seemingly was in control, but Wuhrman put the heat on him with six consecutive strikes to finish. Fields managed a double in the 10th frame to clinch a 224-214 victory. Fields wound up defeating reigning champion Tim Wolchko of Egg Harbor in the final, 246-234.
â€œI struggled to start out. I was shocked I could throw six in a row,â€ Wuhrman said about his eighth game of the day. â€œTo go out with six strikes is the way I wanted to go out.â€
And the 300 â€“ Wuhrmanâ€™s first perfect game â€“ was the way he wanted to start the second session. Wuhrman had to make up 41 pins just to get in the top five, and did that and more. His timing couldnâ€™t have been better. The only drawback was that his older brother, Mike, who also was an accomplished bowler at Park Ridge, missed most of the game.
â€œThat was my goal for the day. My brother didnâ€™t make it to the [stepladder format] when he bowled,â€ Wuhrman said. â€œMy goal in life is to be better than my brother.â€
Four North Jersey bowlers were among the top 18 who advanced to the second round. Besides Wuhrman, Vince Siekierski of Don Bosco fired a 667 series in the opening session to advance in 10th place, but had a 607 in the second round and finished 11th with a total of 1,274.