West York man uses pair of 300 games to break Suburban Bowlerama series record

  • Zach Ilgenfritz recently broke the series record at Suburban Bowlerama.
  • The West York man finished with an 878 series on games of 278, 300 and 300.
  • Ilgenfritz finished last bowling season with an average of 234.
Zach Ilgenfritz

Zach Ilgenfritz erased any doubt whether or not he is among York County's elite bowlers when he registered a record-setting 878 series at Suburban Bowlerama on Thursday, Feb. 24.

The 24-year-old right-hander rolled games of 278, 300 and 300 to break Kevin Sollenberger's previous mark of 877 at the South Queen Street center.

Jerred Poff owns the county record with an 889 series, which he rolled at Colony Park North in 2017.

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Ilgenfritz, who admits he's his own worst critic, has struggled with his confidence in the past. But his 878 series, coupled with his win in the York Masters Tournament in December, has convinced him of his talent.

"I feel like I've gotten the monkey off my back," he said. "I no longer have to doubt myself. And, it's an honor to be mentioned with some of the county's top bowlers."

Although Ilgenfritz said he didn't feel like bowling when he arrived at Suburban Bowlerama on his record-setting night, he got off to a quick start.

Entering the third game, he knew he could break the house record if he rolled another 300 game. While it was possible, it was a tall order.

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Midway through the game, adrenaline washed away Ilgenfritz's nervousness. He had to be careful, however, not to rush his shot, or slow his game down too much.

"My legs were like jello by the 10th frame," he said. "By that time, a lot of bowlers had gathered around to watch me. I just tried to keep my adrenaline under control."

He completed his mission with three solid strikes.

"It was an exhilarating feeling," he said. "It was difficult to imagine what I had accomplished. I was so pumped up, I barely slept that night."

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Ilgenfritz ended the series with mixed feelings. Part of him was relieved the pressure was off, and part of him wanted to continue to see how long he could have stretched his strike streak.

The West Yorker, who averaged 234 last season, is looking for more ways to continue to build his confidence.

"I would like to make the (York County) Match Play finals (in April) and perhaps bowl my first PBA East Region event," he said.

Ilgenfritz acknowledged that increasing his confidence is a one-step-at-a-time process.

Reach Barry Sparks at sports@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @ydsports.