Published: March 16, 2016 | Bowl.com
Setting USBC records were from left: Jim Luden, John Bogacki Jr., Jana Luden, Jay Bradshaw and Linda Bradshaw (Photos courtesy of Matt Turek and Don Griffin)
ARLINGTON, Texas – The St. Louis bowling community has been known to produce bowling history, and now five new bowlers can add their names to the record books after rolling the highest five-player team series in United States Bowling Congress history.
The Bj’s rolled games of 1,319, 1,317 and 1,350 for a 3,986 series during the Thursday Night Goodtimes league inside St. Louis’ Show Me Lanes on March 10. The achievement is pending approval from USBC.
The Bj’s, topped the previous record of 3,937, set in 2009 by Pro Bowl West of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Jay Bradshaw led the way for The Bj’s with an 826 series and was followed by Jana Luden (805), Jim Luden (801), John Bogacki Jr. (794) and Linda Bradshaw (760). The group tossed a total of 140 strikes during its record-performance, just two strikes shy of tying the record for total strikes in a team series, held by Westgate Bowl of Grand Rapids, Michigan and Pro Bowl West.
The new mark also put the group at the top of the three men/two women series category, while Linda Bradshaw earned a spot in the record books by virtue of her “low” series. Her 760 sits atop the “highest low player in a five-player team series” category, dethroning Nate Burch of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Anthony Reviere of Chattanooga, Tennessee, who previously held the record with 748.
Finally, Jim and Jana Luden became just the third husband and wife duo to roll an 800 series during the same night. They join Ed (836) and Nan Fritchey (835) of St. Louis and Chris (803) and Stefanie Johnson (803) of Grand Prairie, Texas.
Bogacki, who anchored The Bj’s, has known most of the group for more than 25 years, and he has bowled with and against his teammates in various leagues and tournaments throughout the St. Louis area.
Linda and Jay Bradshaw have known Bogacki since his days as a youth bowler, so his only goal was to finish the 10th frame as strongly as he could for the sake of the team.
“I was just trying to finish it out,” said Bogacki, who tossed a 300 game during the historic night. “That was all that was on my mind. I just wanted to do my part and get all I could get because I knew we were going to be close to potentially having an all-time record. It was cool and fun to do it with the people I bowled with. We’ve known each other for a long time, and it’s been a fun year bowling with them.”
When the final ball was tossed, one very significant record being discussed was the Missouri state record of 3,858 set by the legendary team, Budweiser Beer of St. Louis on March 12, 1958.
That team arguably is the greatest five-player team ever assembled and included five USBC Hall of Famers – Ray Bluth, Don Carter, Tom Hennessey, Pat Patterson and Dick Weber.
Bogacki was well aware of the history those names carry in the St. Louis area and is honored to be mentioned alongside them.
“It’s definitely pretty special,” Bogacki said. “There is a rich heritage of bowling in St. Louis. The Budweiser team is legendary, and I was fortunate enough to meet and talk with Dick Weber several times throughout my life before he passed. So, to be associated with him and to beat their team score is a pretty cool feeling and a neat accomplishment.”
Thursday’s record-breaking night wasn’t the quintet’s first brush with history. Earlier in the season, the group posted a 3,813 series, just shy of claiming the top spot at the time in in the mixed category for teams with three men and two women. Crazy Pants of Woodbridge, Virginia, previously held the record with a 3,878 total, set in 2015. Thursday night’s effort more than made up for their previous shortcomings.
“To see the reaction of everybody else in the bowling alley was just amazing,” said Jana Luden, who started the final game with 10 consecutive strikes. “I was the second bowler and watched the last three all get the first two strikes in the 10th. It’s really wonderful to do this with such good friends, who are really close. Jim and I were in Linda and Jay’s wedding and they were in ours. We’ve bowled with John for many years, too, so it was a really nice experience with our friends.”
For more information on USBC records, visit BOWL.com/Records .