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updated: 1/26/2013 10:38 PM

VH's Swanson strikes a winning exit

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By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent

All Eric Swanson wanted was to finish his senior season the right way.

Mission accomplished.

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The Vernon Hills senior ended his final frame, and his high school bowling career, with a strike in the boys bowling state tournament Saturday at St. Clair Lanes in downstate O'Fallon.

Swanson posted a 20th-place finish with a 12-game total of 2,593 for a 216 average.

"I just always wanted to end it with a strike," Swanson said. "It was a great career over my four years.

"I really wanted a state championship with all my great teammates. Overall, it was a lot of fun."

Swanson started Saturday with a sizzling 258 game that moved him up from 25th place to 11th. The lanes changed a bit by the second game; Swanson started it by leaving 10 pins and shooting a 195. By the third game, Swanson tried to make some adjustments and shot a 166 for a 619 for the morning.

In the afternoon, Swanson found better consistency and put together games of 212, 217 and finally a 234 for a 663 series.

"I know that I could've and should've bowled better," said Swanson. "Where I ended was a good number. Not many people can get there in the state."

Shane Matejcek of Lockport was the state champion by rolling an amazing 2,924 over the 12 games for a 243 average.

Swanson finished with the highest average in conference this season at 220. He also captured the sectional championship after steadily climbing the ladder from fourth as a freshman, third as a sophomore and second last year.

Swanson bowled at the state tournament all four years. He helped the Cougars to runner-up team finishes his sophomore and junior years, 11th place as a freshman and 18th place on Friday.

"Winning conference and the sectional was a goal of mine and it was a very positive thing," Swanson said. "Overall, I'm very happy with what has happened to this point. I had a chance to bowl with a lot of bowlers and they are still good friends."

Lockport took home the state championship with a 12-game total of 12,846 pins. O'Fallon finished in the second spot (12,772) and Salem grabbed third place (12,538), 1 pin ahead of Minooka.

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