Cottage Grove's Munson rolls perfect 300Cottage Grove’s Hannah Munson, 15, rolled a perfect 300 game at the North Pointe Junior Gold Championships bowling tournament in Indianapolis, Ind. – the most prestigious tournament she’s ever competed in.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
Nobody is perfect. But, for one day at least, Cottage Grove’s Hannah Munson sure was.
Munson, 15, rolled a perfect 300 game at the North Pointe Junior Gold Championships bowling tournament in Indianapolis, Ind. – the most prestigious tournament she’s ever competed in.
It was Munson’s first 300 game. Her previous best was a 279 and her average is roughly 190.
“I knew I’d probably do it eventually, but I wasn’t expecting it at all to get one at the biggest tournament I’ve ever been in,” Munson said. “My legs were shaking a bunch. I was really nervous when I went up there, because I’ve never been that close to getting a 300. It was a really cool experience to get one.”
The North Pointe Junior Gold Championships is an annual national tournament for the top male and female youth bowlers in the United States. A record 1,929 athletes took part in this year’s tournament, which was held July 14-20 and broadcast live on Bowl.com’s Bowl TV. Nearly 6,000 people have viewed a clip of the final moments from Munson’s 300 game on youtube.com.
Munson said she’d never forget it.
“I was really happy about it and I wanted to jump for joy, but I knew I was on TV, so I tried to keep my composure and not freak out,” Munson said. “I gave everyone a high five and my mom was crying, so I gave her a big hug. It was cool to have my family there.”
The North Pointe Junior Gold Championships awards $250,000 in scholarships and youth bowlers also have the opportunity to earn a spot on Junior Team USA. The tournament is broken up into four divisions – Under-15 Boys, Under-15 Girls, Under-20 Boys and Under-20 Girls. Munson was the only Under-15 bowler to score a 300 at North Pointe.
“At this tournament it was very unexpected,” said Tom Munson, Hannah’s dad. “It’s a pretty huge event. In the bowling world, that’s the best tournament for the youth in the country. It definitely brought tears to mom’s eyes. It was extremely exciting. I don’t know who was more nervous – us or Hannah.”
Hannah Munson will be a junior at Park High School this fall. She began bowling at the age of 4. Tom and Hannah’s mom, Lori, are also both heavily into bowling and have 300 games under their belts too. Lori Munson is a St. Paul Bowling Hall of Fame member and won two of the last three state titles.
“We’re just really proud of her,” Tom Munson said. “She accomplished something not many people ever do. And it wasn’t on a regular oil-pattern, it was on a sport-shot, so it’s thought of being even better than just your general 300 you see at a bowling alley, because it’s more like what the pro’s bowl on.”
Hannah Munson is a member of the Park bowling team and the Park swimming and diving team. She bowls mainly out of Park Grove Bowl in Cottage Grove. Between practicing and games, she bowls four days a week. This past season she helped Park’s co-ed team finish fourth in the state and the Park girls team take second. Munson earned All-State and All-Conference honors last season.
“It’s super fun,” Hannah said. “You can go and actually practice or you can just have fun. I’ve met a lot of new people and made a lot of friends through bowling that I wouldn’t know otherwise. It’s helped me grow as a person. I used to be super shy, but bowling has given me more confidence.”
In addition to helping lead the high school team, Hannah now has her sights set on qualifying for the United State Under-20 team and also hopes to obtain a college scholarship for bowling.
Tom Munson said he feels Hannah is one of the “better 15-and-under bowlers in the country” right now.
“One of her goals now I’d say is to get on Team USA and just to keep bowling well enough to get a scholarship,” he said. “Most people don’t realize how many scholarships are available for bowling. But, it’s about the same amount as girls hockey.”