PITTSFIELD — Bowling has simply always been a part of Lynsey Aldam’s life.
On a recent Wednesday evening, she was working the front desk at Kens Bowl in Pittsfield, while her father and uncle were both playing frames as part of a league night. The 17-year-old Taconic junior grew up going to Kens and has been bowling for 11 years.
Winning a state championship, though, that’s something new.
“It is a dream and I still can’t believe it happened,” said Aldam, saying that three weeks later it still hadn’t really set in. “I’ve been bowling my whole life. I grew up in this alley and I always kind of dreamed of winning some big title.”
Aldam placed third at states as a sophomore, so the motivation was there to drive her to the top of the standings. In her return trip to the championships, Aldam didn’t just win the title, she demolished her competition and posted three of the top-five games bowled on the day.
“This was by far the best year I’ve had. Things were a bit rocky early in the year, we only had like three players on the team,” said Aldam. “But then we recruited a bunch of people from school and we were able to have a JV and Varsity. We bloomed from there and personally I did pretty well.”
Taconic reached the state tournament as a team, finishing second to Wahconah in pool play with a total of 2,011. Unfortunately, the Braves were taken down in the bracket by Sabis in extra frames 40-39. Aldam posted a high series of 385, third best of the co-ed event.
In individuals, she stayed hot, coming out with the No. 1 seed thanks to a 913 total. Because of her finish, she was awarded a bye into the title match, while her opponents duked it out in a step-ladder finals.
“It is so stressful. I’m there and want to watch the other people, but didn’t want to get tight. So I had to stay loose and keep practicing, while not tiring myself out,” said Aldam of her bye. “You have to find a happy medium.”
Christina Jandrow of South High emerged from the ladder to take on a rested Aldam. Even after taking an extended break, the Taconic star proved too much. She beat Jandrow in the title match 193-185, bringing the state championship back to the Berkshires.
In the heat of the season, Aldam bowls four times a week, but upped it to every night during tournament season to break in some new equipment. She bumped up to a 14-pound ball before states. The championship definitely signaled something in her that she may not want to pursue further, something she may not have thought about previously.
“I think I’m going to try and get more into bowling this summer. It gets really hot, especially here at Kens,” said Aldam. “But we’re going to have summer leagues here now. I’ve done some tournaments with junior leagues, but I’m trying to get more into that; the junior gold, because I might want to bowl in college.”
Berkshire County has had a couple previous state champs in recent memory, including St. Joseph’s Jordan Kinnas and Lee’s Sam Farina, both also with ties to Kens and Lynsey. County teams McCann Tech and Wahconah won the team titles in 2017 as well.
“I typically don’t tell people I bowl, because it isn’t taken seriously as a competitive thing. People don’t see it on TV,” finished Aldam. “I think it is pretty awesome that we have such a big bowling community out here.”
Now that community has one more plaque to add to its wall.