The Calhoun team, which was made up of Justin Hackney, Chris Holman, Lee McGhee and Karlene Welty, combined for a team series of 2,928 and Baker set of 2,360 to finish with a combined score of 5,288. ABA of Westminster, S.C., finished second with 5,225. Calhoun received $1,200 for first place, while ABA took home $1,000. The field consisted of 38 teams.
Finding themselves on top of the leaderboard after the three traditional games, Calhoun was confident it could ride the momentum into the Baker portion of the event. All teams bowl three traditional games and 10 Baker games. A Baker game has the team members alternate frames until a complete game is bowled.
“We established a pretty good score in the first three games, so we felt we had a good chance,” said McGhee, who was captain of the group. “Going into the Baker games, we made sure to have our strongest bowlers finish the game.”
Calhoun’s confidence also was heightened with a little bit of luck and superstition. A lucky rabbit’s foot, which was brought by Holman, seemed to inspire the team and provide good scores just when they needed them.
“Chris had a rabbit’s foot,” McGhee said. “We kept rubbing the foot, and every time we did, we had a big game.”
After securing the victory, McGhee reflected on what made the event a unique opportunity for all bowlers.
“I think the thing that makes the Team Challenge exciting is that it’s truly a team-oriented thing,” he said. “You have to depend on your teammates, but also be supportive of them if they have an open or bad break.”
The Storm Mixed Team Challenge will now take a breather until 2010. The next event will be Saturday, March 6 at Hollywood Bowl in Portland, Ore., and Sunday, March 7 at Pacific Lanes in Tacoma, Wash.