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Another 800 series for 17-year-old O'Grady

The bowler who always seems to be too young to be so good just shot another amazing series.

Melanie O'Grady has struck again.

The 17-year-old Port Richey resident, who has spent most of her youth in Lecanto, shot an 802 series Feb. 8 at Dunedin Lanes. She was in the Cashmasters Doubles League and was bowling a four-game series with Chris Holly. He shot 747 for three games.

That was O'Grady's fourth 800 series, a phenomenal feat even for most adults. She had her first 800 series on Sept. 15, 2004, an 835 at Hudson Bowl. At the time, it was the state record for a woman and O'Grady was only 15.

This time, the former professional bowler had to fight her own body but managed that coveted series.

"It was really exciting," she said. "I was sick. I felt really bad. Everything was really smooth."

O'Grady, who will will get an 800 ring from the United States Bowling Congress, said she tried to make the United States team in January but didn't bowl very well.

"I was sick again," she said. "I was getting over a cold. I didn't throw it well."

O'Grady said she plans to go back to the Team USA tryouts next year.

Her professional ladies bowling card expired in January 2005 so O'Grady is no longer a pro, but she would love to get on a tour if the women get one going again.

"I wish the tour would come back," she said.

She plans to start college this year, though she hasn't decided where.

O'Grady was born in Seaford, N.Y. and began bowling at Manatee Lanes in Crystal River. She and mother Pat moved to Port Richey in 2004. She was the youngest pro bowler ever at 14, though she was a pro for only a year.

She would like to give lessons but would have to be certified by Team USA.

She has some big competitions coming up, including the state tournament in May in Fort Lauderdale, which her team won last year.

Her mother said she will be in the Mini-Eliminator Tournament in Las Vegas in July.

She will compete in the Pasco County Ladies Tournament this month at Tarpon Lanes, as well as the Pasco County Men's Tournament in March at Hudson Lanes. She will compete in singles, doubles (with Sue Baldwin), and team competition.

O'Grady won all events last year.