WATERLOO — Dustin Beaham was speechless.
It was hard to blame the Louisa-Muscatine junior. After all, he was less than two hours removed from drilling 12 consecutive strikes and bowling a perfect 300 at the Class 1A state bowling tournament, something that had been done only twice in tournament history until Monday.
“This one is for my team because we couldn’t make it up here as a team,” Beaham said.
It should come as no surprise that the perfect first game set Beaham up well to chase the title, as the Louisa-Muscatine junior bowled a 535 two-game series to win the individual title for the second consecutive season.
The next closest bowler was Red Oak’s Noah Westerlund with a 480 two-game series. Not only did the L-M junior roll a perfect game, but he also opened up his second with four consecutive strikes.
“I really thought he was going to shoot back-to-back 300s because I’ve seen this young kid bowl a long time,” Louisa-Muscatine coach Al Jordan said. “He was in that zone. I’ve been around this sport a long time and he’s the best I’ve ever seen.”
Louisa-Muscatine had a second medalist in freshman Zach Robertson, who bowled a 431 two-game series to place seventh. One month ago, it wasn’t far-fetched to think Robertson would be the only boys bowler at the state tournament for L-M.
Beaham spent three weeks away from the team in January for what he called internal issues. Even when he came back a few weeks before substate, he often got down on himself as he struggled to find his form.
That’s why Beaham decided he wasn’t going to pay any attention to his score on Monday.
“I came into the day like ‘don’t even look at the score,” Beaham said. “’Just stay in the game and it’ll happen for you.’”
Now, after winning two consecutive individual titles and bowling as a perfect game on the biggest stage, Beaham has his sights set on the team title next year.
“I’m hoping next year we’ll get a state championship to L-M,” Beaham said. “That’s my number one goal.”