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Olivia Lopera, Adam Zimmerman in striking distance of LI records

Olivia Lopera is on the verge of something

Olivia Lopera is on the verge of something special in 2015. Photo Credit: Alan J Schaefer

East Islip's Olivia Lopera and Deer Park's Adam Zimmerman are on the verge of something special. The junior stars have been on such a roll this season that some Long Island bowling records are in danger of being broken.

Lopera leads Long Island girls with a 229.56 average, more than five pins better than the single-season record of 223.52, set last year by Middle Country's Kelly Skalacki.

Zimmerman, who has a LI-best 246.62 average, is on pace to break the boys mark of 244 set by Plainview JFK's Matt Farber in 2012.

Can they sustain those averages and make history?

"I don't worry about it," said Lopera, who was second in Suffolk with a 217 average last season. "But of course I want to do it, and I know that if I keep bowling as well as I'm capable of, I can break the record."

Zimmerman credits his success to his 15-pound bowling ball -- along with his unusual delivery. "I bowl two-handed," said Zimmerman, who rolled his first 300 game last month. "I only use two fingers with my right hand, no thumb, and my left hand is also on the ball as I go. It's helped me be at my best."

Lopera's 741 series on Dec. 18 was the highest among Suffolk girls this season. She helped East Islip win the state championship last season and her dominance has been a key this season as EI boasts a 1,019 cumulative average.

"I expect myself to bowl well and I try to shoot for a 690 series every time," Lopera said. "If I mess up, I move on and I know what to do on the next shot."

The improvements in bowling equipment have helped bowlers, and it's part of the reason the records have been rewritten so often. But there is no denying the talent of these young standouts. "The bowling balls are better, but these kids put in a lot of time," said East Islip coach Harold Cooley, adding that Zimmerman and Lopera compete together in mixed doubles tournaments every Friday. "Those two kids don't stop bowling, and that's why they are where they are."

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