ARLINGTON, Texas - As most United States Bowling Congress-certified leagues are winding down for the year, a few bowlers were able to finish 2015 in memorable fashion, adding their names to the USBC record books.
Chuck Foudray of Green Bay, Wis., tossed 30 strikes on the way to becoming the oldest bowler to roll an 800 series, while a trio of Michigan bowlers came within one pin of perfection in breaking the three-player, single-game record with an 899 effort.
Both achievements are pending approval from USBC.
Foudray's performance during the Monday MFL (Manhattan Fun League) at Manhattan Lanes in De Pere, Wisconsin, on Dec. 14 included games of 254, 278 and 278 for an 810 series.
At 84 years, 3 months and 28 days old, Foudray supplants Gerald Gray of Celina, Ohio, who was 83 years, 7 months old when he rolled an 805 series in 2005. Foudray's only previous USBC-certified 800 was an 815 set in 2010.
"This is something I never expected to do, but it was one of those days where everything just went right," said Foudray, who also owns a handful of perfect games. "I had 532 after two games and really just wanted to shoot 700. Getting to 800 never was a thought, and I don't think anyone even realized it was happening."
Foudray has a history in the sport that dates to his youth and a stint in the U.S. Air Force, but he gave up bowling from 1959-1994 to focus on working and raising a family. He returned to the lanes in 1995 for the camaraderie and to do something he enjoyed.
In the years since, Foudray has bowled as many as five days a week but now limits his participation to just one afternoon league - where he has become a celebrity.
"I'm still trying to get used to the idea of being a record holder," Foudray said. "I was as amazed as anyone else. I've been bowling well this year, and that's my main goal when I go out there. I'm definitely not out to break any records, which makes this even better."
The week's other record performance came in the Tuesday Tavern league at Candlelite Bowl in Bridgeport, Mich., where Bobby Sanch, Brian McMahon and Steve Novak rolled games of 300, 299 and 300, respectively, topping the existing record of 897, rolled in Baltimore in 2006.
Novak has earned a reputation as a top team bowler, having helped Saginaw Valley State University to a win at the 2006 Intercollegiate Team Championships and his Junior Team USA Support 1 team to Team All-Events titles at the USBC Open Championships in 2013 and 2015.
The 32-year-old right-hander now helps coach the SVSU team, while McMahon is a past team member and Sanch currently bowls for the Cardinals.
"This definitely by far is the best accomplishment I've been a part of in a league setting, and it was a lot fun," Novak said. "The whole league stopped and watched our 10th frame, and that was really cool. Any of us could shoot 300 on a given night, but for all of us to have a chance at the same time was something we've never experienced. Even though we didn't get the 900, we did do something that's never been done, and that's special."
For more information on USBC records, visit BOWL.com/Records.