Bowling a 300 is an excellent accomplishment, but for Nick Vuono it was just a part of a record-setting achievement during his freshman season.
Vuono began the match by rolling a 278 in the first game. The 300 came in the second game and put those watching on alert for the possibility of a historic performance.
“Once he bowled the 300, me and his father figured he needed to get an 800 series,” North Babylon coach Sonny Casale said. “An 800 series is harder to come by than a 300 game, so that’s what we placed our focus on.”
Vuono surpassed that goal, rolling a 289 in the third game to give him an 867 series in a 29-4 win over Lindenhurst on Dec. 9. That mark surpassed the state record for a three-game series, previously set at 856 by East Islip’s John Knieriemen in 2009. It also tied the national record held by Charles Hunt (Illinois, 22/23 season) and John Delp III (Pennslyvania, 1990).
“I was just trying to take things one step at a time,” Vuono said. “I wasn’t thinking of what should happen next, really just thinking about doing my best in each moment.”
An impressive performance on its own, but even more impressive due to the fact that Vuono has been bowling for just more than two years.
“My sister started bowling her junior year and my dad would take her to the bowling alley, so I tagged along,” Vuono said. “At first I just rather have been there than home alone, but I started to mess around and bowl a bit, then I actually got interested in it.”
Casale knew that Vuono would be capable of this kind of performance as he progressed, which is why the coach wanted Vuono on North Babylon’s team since he was in the seventh grade.
“At that point I didn’t think I was ready, I probably should’ve just joined the team, but I didn’t feel ready,” Vuono said. “I just felt I needed to work on my skills a bit, before joining the team in eighth grade.”
Vuono has already shown an improvement from his first season on the team. He has raised his average over 10 pins, to 217.33 so far this season, currently the 12th highest in Suffolk.
Vuono isn’t worried about trying to repeat his performance, instead he has his eyes set on a few other goals.
“I had no idea I’d be tying any records or anything, I just thought I was having a really good series,” Vuono said. “I know this is something I can’t expect to replicate. My goals are just raising my average and hopefully being good enough to make the state team.”