Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bowler bags bragging rights with perfect game — at just 9


Not many people can say they have bowled a perfect 300 game, and fewer still have only six of their adult teeth. Hannah Diem, 9, recently became the youngest member of the United States Bowling Congress to bowl a 300 during a youth and adult tournament.

"I was screaming, (my mom) was sobbing," Hannah said about the perfecto. "It was too much. It was processing in my brain right then, and it was, 'Okay, you got it.' It was like a mix of excitement and still processing it."

Hannah, one of 18 members of the Liberty Bombers youth bowling team at Liberty Lanes, bowled 12 consecutive strikes. At 9 years, 6 months and 19 days old, she beat the previous record of 10 years and 2 months by Chaz Dennis of Ohio in 2006.

"I was shaking and my heart was beating like 5,000 miles per hour," Hannah said. When she arrived for the tournament that evening, she was feeling under the weather and didn't know if she should compete.

"I said, 'Why don't you just warm up and see how it goes?' " her mother, Heidi Diem, said.

It went well. Using her oil-spill-colored Arson ball, Hannah racked up a 204 during her first game, followed by a 226 for her second. Before going into her third set, she turned to her mother and asked when she thought she would bowl her first 300 game.

Maybe next year, Heidi Diem predicted. "It's so funny after that second game," her mother said. "I was moved. She just turned to me and asked me that question, and I (imagined) that a 300 game was something bowled by the older kids and adults."

Her prediction of "next year" was shattered as her daughter sent a hook shot splintering into the pins.

Hannah, who lives in Seminole and attends Madeira Beach Fundamental Elementary School, began bowling 3 1/2 years ago after being inspired at a friend's birthday bowling party.

"I loved it. I just knew it wanted to do it," she said.

She took up practicing on an after-school team. Every Wednesday she trains with her coach, James "J.C." Crouch, for an hour with a group of teammates. During her total time with Crouch, Hannah's average has soared to a 162 from the 42 she had when she first trained without bumpers.

"She's really taken to it," he said.

In 2012, Hannah took first place at the Florida State Youth Tournament. A 300 game, she said, is just her starting point. She is still shooting for a 750 in a tournament and plans to compete at the national level in 2014.

Thanks to points racked up during her local and state wins, next summer Hannah will head to Buffalo, N.Y., to compete in the North Pointe Junior Gold Championships. It's the farthest she has traveled to compete. Though she's excited, Hannah won't let her nerves get the best of her.

"One frame at a time," she said.

Bowler bags bragging rights with perfect game — at just 9 12/03/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 3:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. What you need to know for Thursday, Oct. 19


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today

    White nationalist Richard Spencer is scheduled to speak at the University of Florida tonight and the school is on high alert for tensions. [Associated Press]
  2. Bowen: Park land deal raises Penny for Pasco questions


    The Penny for Pasco is unambiguous.

    At least it is supposed to be.

    There was no equivocating in 2004 when Penny for Pasco supporters detailed how the sales tax proceeds would be spent: schools, transportation, public safety and environmental lands. No money for parks. No money for recreation.

    Pasco County is considering a loan from its Environmental Lands Acquisition and Mangement Program to buy land for a park in the Villages of Pasadena Hills in east-central Pasco. Shown here is the Jumping Gully Preserve in Spring Hil, acquired by ELAMP in 2009 and 2011.
[Douglas R. Clifford, Times]
  3. Another Tampa Bay agency loses tax credits worth millions in dispute over application error


    LARGO — Another Tampa Bay housing agency has lost out on a multi-million dollar tax credit award because of problems with its application.

    A duplex in Rainbow Village, a public housing complex in Largo. The Pinellas County Housing Authority is planning to build new affordable-housing in the complex but was recently disqualified from a state tax credit award because of an issue with its application.
  4. Live blog: Many unknowns as Richard Spencer speaks in Gainesville today


    GAINESVILLE — A small army of law enforcement officers, many of them from cities and counties around the state, have converged on the University of Florida in preparation for today's speaking appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer.

    Florida Highway Patrol cruisers jammed the parking lot Wednesday at the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, part of a big show of force by law enforcement ahead of Thursday's appearance by white nationalist Richard Spencer. [KATHRYN VARN | Times]
  5. As Clearwater Marine Aquarium expands, it asks the city for help


    CLEARWATER — When Clearwater Marine Aquarium CEO David Yates saw an architect's initial design for the facility's massive expansion project, he told them to start all over.

    Clearwater Marine Aquarium Veterinarian Shelly Marquardt (left), Brian Eversole, Senior Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biologist (middle) and Devon Francke, Supervisor of Sea Turtle Rehab, are about to give a rescued juvenile green sea turtle, suffering from a lot of the Fibropapillomatosis tumors, fluids at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Wednesday afternoon. Eventually when the turtle is healthy enough the tumors will be removed with a laser and after it is rehabilitated it will be released back into the wild.  -  The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is launching a $66 million renovation to expand its facilities to take in injured animals and space to host visitors. The aquarium is asking the city for a $5 million grant Thursday to help in the project. American attitudes toward captive animals are changing. Sea World is slipping after scrutiny on the ethics of captive marine life. But CEO David Yates says CMA is different, continuing its mission of rehab and release, it's goal is to promote education, not exploitation. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times