Strikes and spares come easily for one Alta sixth grader, who has knocked down enough pins and avoided enough gutter balls to finish in the top 10 in the state of Iowa in his bowling division.
Ryan Vonnahme, a student at Alta Elementary School, finished in seventh place in the Boys 11-and-under division at the Pepsi-Cola Iowa Youth Bowling Championships Tournament in Des Moines last weekend, placing in the top 10 out of 96 participants in the division.
Vonnahme, who recently turned 12, has been bowling for the past four years, and he said it is a good pastime for him.
"It gives me something to do," Vonnahme said. "It's something that is pretty fun for me."
Vonnahme was introduced to the sport by his grandmother, Rosie Carmichael, who said bowling has been a healthy activity for her grandson.
"Bowling is something that can be your sport, and he's really taken off and done a good job with bowling," Carmichael said.
Vonnahme began the tournament trail at a district qualifying meet in Storm Lake in December, and then advanced to state by finishing high enough at the district meet in Cherokee on Feb. 15. He then competed at the state meet last Saturday.
Vonnahme managed to rise to the occasion at the state meet, bowling a career-high game of 182 in the final game of the tournament. He also compiled scores of 119 and 103.
In addition to state-sponsored competitions, Vonnahme bowls in a junior league in Storm Lake weekly.