On Nov. 17, Hannah Diem of Seminole, Fla., became the youngest United States Bowling Congress member to roll a certified 300 game.
She now sits atop the list in the record books at 9 years, 6 months and 19 days. She broke the previous overall record of 10 years, 2 months set by Chaz Dennis of Columbus, Ohio, in 2006 and bested the girls’ mark of 12 years, 4 months set by Brandie Reamy of Farmington, Mich., also in 2006.
Hannah was competing in the Youth/Adult Fall league at Liberty Lanes in Largo, Fla., and started the night with a 204 game. She followed that up with a new high game of 226 before making history. Her 730 series for the night was 166 pins better than her previous high of 564.
We caught up with Hannah to talk about her special night and future plans in her favorite sport. Here what she had to say:
Age: 9 years old (born April 29, 2004)
Hometown: St. Petersburg, Fla.
Home bowling center: Liberty Lanes Largo
What grade are you in? Fourth
At what age did you start bowling? Age 6, right out of kindergarten
What made you start bowling? I attended an end-of-the-school-year party at Liberty and instantly wanted to bowl more!!! I immediately signed up for bumper bowling and attended the Liberty Summer Camp under the coaching of James (JC) Crouch, who has now coached me since the start. Over the summer, I went to bowling camp every day for several weeks.
What is your favorite thing about bowling? Seeing myself get better and bowling more strikes and bowling a good game!
Do you have a coach who helps you? Coach JC has been with me since the very beginning. He taught me how to bowl and works with me. He is the coach of the Liberty Bombers (the Liberty tournament team for serious bowlers), and he coaches the youth program.
Who is your favorite professional bowler and why? I have a few – Jason Belmonte because I LOVE to watch him with his bowling style, Chris Barnes because of how good he is and how he smiles and Kelly Kulick because she is a female bowler, and I have seen her bowl on TV. She keeps up with the guys! I also just met Lucy Sandelin, who is giving me tips now since she lives close by. I want to be like her and win a world title and make Team USA like she did.
What was your high game before you bowled a 300? My high game was 224, but then that night (Nov. 17) I beat my high game with my second game with a 226. I bowled a 204, 226 and 300 that night.
What bowling ball were you using when you bowled a 300? I used my Hammer Arson Pearl, a 12-lb ball but want to move up to a 13 now.
At what point did you realize you were close to being able to bowl a perfect game? The most strikes in a row I had ever bowled was six, so after I hit seven, I started to think that maybe this could really happen!!
What was going through your head in the 10th frame and final ball? I was just concentrating trying to hit my mark. I was trying to stop my mind from running away. I said to myself, “just stop thinking and throw at your mark!” The very last ball of the 10th, I just made my mind stop running, so I could throw at my mark.
What are some other hobbies or sports you enjoy? I enjoy swimming, art, drawing, Taylor Swift and country music, roller skating and AWANA group at my church.
What is one lesson bowling has taught you? One is to be patient because someday you will get your super high game, and the other one is to not be angry with myself if I bowl a bad game.
What are your future goals and plans in bowling? To bowl an 800 series, go to Nationals and go to Juniorr Gold this year in Buffalo. I also want to make Team USA and win the Queens title and be a professional bowler.
Congratulations to Hannah from the International Art of Bowling! We wish you all the best in your bowling future.