Jennifer Sparks averaged 233 for 132 games at Colony Park Lanes North for the 2016-17 season, making her only the third woman in York County bowling history to top the 230 mark.
Lindy Decker holds the one-season mark for local women with a 236 average posted for 78 games at Suburban Bowlerama in the 2008-09 season. Stephanie Whipple-Miller notched a 231 mark for 90 games at Colony Park Lanes North during the 2010-11 season.
"That's awesome," said Sparks, when she was informed of her achievement. "I never thought I would average that high. It's unreal to think that someone can average 230 or higher. You have to be so accurate and so consistent. It's much more difficult than people think."
Sparks' average is even more impressive because she maintained it for 132 games while rolling in a doubles league. That's almost 70 percent more games than Decker recorded in 2008-09.
This past season marked the third consecutive season Sparks, 29, has led York County women in average. She ended Whipple-Miller's five-year reign in 2014.
Sparks said she seems to perform better when chasing a goal. Two seasons ago, it was to beat her husband, Travis, in average. (She won household bragging rights by a fraction of a pin). This past season, it was to beat her older brother, Greg Elicker, in average. (She edged him 233 to 232).
"It was the first time I ever beat Greg in average," she said. "I may never do it again, but I can always say I did it once. Competition seems to do me good."
Could Sparks' next goal be to beat Decker's 236 average?
"Lindy's record is very impressive," Sparks said. "It's held up for almost 10 years, and the game has advanced so much in that time. Lindy's record could be my eventual goal."
For now, Sparks' main goal is to have more fun while bowling.
"Sometimes being competitive diminishes the fun aspect of bowling," she said. "I think the more fun I have, the better I will bowl."
Reach Barry Sparks at email@example.com.
Top 25 Averages
York County Women 2016-17
(Minimum of 66 games)
Bowler Games Average Center
Jen Sparks 132 233 Colony Park North
Becky Daigle 104 229 Colony Park North
Stephanie Whipple-Miller 78 220 Suburban
Jackie Flinchbaugh 75 219 Suburban
Brenda Danfelt 124 216 Colony Park North
Kristen Gessner 93 216 Hanover
Melissa Myers 108 213 Hanover
Ilexia Dickson 75 212 Colony Park North
Chelsea Poff 87 205 Laser Alleys
Samantha Schnur 99 202 East Lincoln
Adrienne Delozier 78 201 Hanover
Jen Schaffer 81 200 East Lincoln
Denise Beachtel 75 198 Hanover
Brittany Poff 72 198 Laser Alleys
Stephanie Schultz 96 197 Suburban
Catherine Kreider 90 196 East Lincoln
Melissa Arnold 81 194 Colony Park North
Brittany Ilgenfritz 102 193 Suburban
Casandra Leonard 75 193 Hanover
Selena Paice 99 193 Colony Park North
Allison Reynolds 90 193 Colony Park North
Kaitlyn Nicewonger 96 192 Suburban
Wendy Topper 105 192 Hanover
Deann Michener 87 190 East Lincoln
Norma Mellott 84 189 Hanover