Cooley's 300 is first at state bowling tourney

November 05, 2003|JILL ERWIN

It was the seventh game of the day for Terri Cooley, but it's one she'll remember.

Cooley, the co-owner and manager of Bowlarama Lanes in Danville, made state history Saturday by becoming the first woman to roll a perfect 300 game in the 44-year history of the Kentucky Women's State Bowling Tournament at Galaxy Lanes in Richmond.

She was also the first woman to bowl a perfect game at Galaxy Lanes.

"This is my fourth (perfect game), but it was 12 of the best shots I've ever thrown in my life," Cooley said. "They were all in the pocket, they were all flush, there were no pins left on the deck."

Cooley, a southpaw, set the record in the first game of the team competition after having already competed in the singles and doubles competitions.


Her combined score for her nine games in the three events was 1,908, enough to win her a second consecutive state title in the all-events actual category and her fourth overall championship.

"It was a weird day," Cooley said. "Between my doubles and singles, it was like if I got a double or three in a row, I'd throw a bad ball. I had a hard time. It was a very difficult condition. I'd already bowled six games on two other pairs of lanes. I had 190s and low 200s."

She had a 593 series in the doubles and a 605 in singles. Thanks to the 300 game, she had a 710 in the team event. Her average at the state tournney was 212 per game.

The other members of her team were her mother, Rose Mahan (who was her doubles partner as well), Shayne Jarman, Joy Iacono and Agnes Bartleson.

Cooley said she tried to avoid thinking about the perfect game, but it finally started to hit her around the eighth frame.

"When I got the eighth strike, I thought, 'Wow, there's a possiblity here,'" Cooley said. "I got the ninth strike and I made it a point not to turn around and look because, from what I was told, there was a crowd that had gathered behind me. I just pretty much tried to stay focused, throw the ball, then come back and sit down in the seat that I had claimed as my seat. Nobody bothered my seat. They left it there for me.

"When I threw the 12th one, I knew my approach was good, I knew I'd hit my target and I knew my follow-through was good, so I didn't even bother to look. When I heard people clapping and carrying on, I knew. They said it was just as pretty as the other 11."

Cooley's last perfect game came seven years ago at the Bowlarama. She has had two perfect games here and one in Evansville, Ind. She was also the first woman to bowl a perfect game in that alley.

She's been bowling for 43 years, since she was three years old, and she said she didn't expect what came Saturday when she rolled her perfect game.

"I'd gotten to the point where I didn't think I'd ever bowl another 300," Cooley said. "It was a surprise, a pleasant surprise."

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