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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.

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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