TriCounty When Gary Strait of Peoria finished last year's league bowling season in the early spring of 1998, he had carved out a special spot for himself in the Greater Peoria Bowling Association.
The 28-year-old lefthander had ended the season with a 231 average for 84 games, the highest average in the long history of the GPBA.
And for his historical achievement, Strait is the Co-Tri-County Male Athlete of the Year for 1998.
Bowling in the Checkmate League at Mt. Hawley Bowl, the 6-foot-3, 225 pound Richwoods High School graduate actually was on target to flirt with a 240 average before a late-season slump.
He had his average up to 238 with two-thirds of the season over but then hit an eight-week slum. "I kept wondering when I was going to have a bad night," he said. "It never came until those last eight weeks."
After a 539 series, his low mark of the season, he went with a new ball, produced a 791 series the first time out and got his average back over 230.
Beginning his league career when he was 17, he has had four 300 games and four 800 series. He is the only bowler in Peoria to ever author back-to-back 800 series.
He has received two awards of merit in the last three years for high average in the GPBA, a 228 and then his recordsetting 231. He also received an award of merit for the highest series in the city, an 837.
When Gary Strait of Peoria finished last year's league bowling season in the early spring of 1998, he had carved out a special spot for himself in the Greater Peoria Bowling Association.
1985 Elmwood Cross Country Team
Front row, left to right: Chris Stillson, Brian Hamby, Brad Hamby, Brett Simpson
The 1985 Elmwood Cross Country team had no returning runners from the 1984 top five. The top five for ’85 included two juniors who were 6th and 7th runners in ’84, a senior who did not run in ’84 (injury), a junior in his first year of cross country, and a sophomore who had never run in a varsity race. The team managed to work themselves up to the #3 ranking in the final poll. Then they proceeded to pull off an amazing upset by beating #1 Pontiac and #2 Yorkville 69-93-126 for the state championship. We have called this the miracle team considering their run to the championship with so little experience and depth. The Elmwood runners were: Sr. Stan Johnson, 3rd in 15:12; Jr. Tony McCoy, 17th in 15:37; Jr. Tom Gorham, 23rd in 15:42; Jr. Brent Simpson, 31st in 15:51; So. Ralph Phillips, 40th in 15:59; Jr. Brad Hamby, 124th in 17:20, and Jr. Brian Hamby, 158th in 18:08.