Belleville 11-year-old bowls perfect game, second youngest in state to reach milestone

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Peyton Mercer. (Photo credit: Zia Nizami, Belleville News Democrat)

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI) – The journey to 300 can go awry in so many different ways – something wrong with the boards on the lane or the ball itself, too much sweat on the hands, nerves, even a fleeting lapse in concentration – that those who reach that summit are rightly praised for their skill.

Eleven-year-old Peyton Mercer, a sixth-grader at Harmony Intermediate School, met those physical and emotional challenges and conquered them; and in the process, became the second youngest person in Illinois history to achieve perfection.

According to the Belleville News Democrat, Mercer reached 300 January 21 while playing at Bel-Air Bowl’s Saturday youth league.

Mercer, whose personal best prior to that day was a 254, has bowled since the age of 5.

The United States Bowling Congress will ultimately certify the results, confirming Mercer’s place as the second youngest person in Illinois to score a 300. The current record holder is Steven Gardland, who bowled a 300 at 11 years, 6 months, and 21 days in 2008.

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