To say Keith Anding has been on a roll lately would be a drastic understatement.
Anding had a night most bowlers only dream of while competing in the Thursday night men's league at St. Croix Lanes in River Falls last week. He bowled a 300 game, followed by a 269, followed by another 300 game. That's 34 out of 36 strikes.
His 869 series is the highest ever recorded in River Falls, breaking the old mark of 842 set by Vince Thomley over a decade ago.
His two 300 games were the third and fourth he has rolled this season. His only other perfect game before this year came on Nov. 12, 2002. He rolled his first 300 this season on Sept. 18, before bowing three in the last three weeks.
So what's his secret?
"I bought a new ball when I went to nationals in Las Vegas last month," he said. "I came back on a Tuesday and Thursday, that same week, I bowled a 300. "That was in early March."
Three weeks later he blew the doors off St. Croix Lanes with his 869 series.
"The ball definitely helps," he said.
Anding, 31, started bowling as a youngster in the junior leagues run by former Bud's Lanes owners, Dave and Lori Branigan. He credits his father, Randy, with helping him improve, and still lives on the town of Troy farm that's been in his family for nearly 80 years.
This year he bowls in leagues twice a week at St. Croix Lanes -- Tuesday nights with Ground Zero and Thursdays with Glass Doctors.
Anding, whose previous high series was 760, said his Glass Doctor teammates started kidding him last week when, after posting a 300 in his first game, he missed his first ball of the second game.
"They said, 'There goes the 900,'" he said "But then I just kept striking. I was kind of in disbelief,"
Anding said his opening ball in the second game was the only bad ball he threw all night. He said he rolled a good ball in the ninth frame but left the nine pin standing.
But the pins kept falling in the third game.
"About halfway through, in the fifth or sixth frame, I thought, I could go off the sheet here," Anding said. "Everybody stopped. There was nobody bowling at all. Then in the tenth frame it was just dead quiet."
Until Anding rolled his 34th, and final, strike of the night.
"Then it got noisy again," he said. "Everybody congratulated me."
Anding said he just tried to stay calm as his score kept climbing.
"I just tried to make the same shot every time," he said. "You try to do that every night but it doesn't always work out that way. This time it did.
"It wasn't really until I was done for the night, and I thought, alright, this was pretty cool."
Anding took a 219 average into last week. He averaged 289 in his three games Thursday.