Andover 11-year-old Kaiden Bentley went from trying out bowling during a free kids event complete with bumpers at Andover Lanes to second place in the season-ending state tournament in less than one year.
He won a district tournament for the chance to complete in a state tournament and ended up earning a $275 college scholarship for the success at the Minnesota Singles Youth Tournament State Championships hosted at Earle Brown Bowling Center in Brooklyn Center March 1.
Kaiden’s mother, Melanie Bentley said league organizers noticed how much he enjoyed the summer sessions and asked if he was interested in joining the kids league.
When September came around Kaiden bowled without bumpers for the first time and as Melanie described, “He loves bowling!”
Two free games each day helped spark his interest in the game and once the league season began, they get a third game.
Kaiden reached state after winning the 66-85 division at the Metro Northwest District tournament at Andover Lanes with a three game scratch score of 302 or with a handicap-added total score of 634.
To qualify for state, Kaiden competed in the 66-85 (scoring average) division and reached state after surpassing his 68 average to win districts through a field of 700 bowlers.
Kaiden opened state in style with a personal best score of 173 and put together rounds of 101 and 110 to finish with a scratch total of 384 points. After figuring the handicap, Kaiden scored a 713 or 23 pins behind 66-85 division champion Lamine Diaby-Gassama of Pierz.
Kaiden was one of six bowlers to reach state from Andover Lanes including a fourth place finish by Ayden Hultman in the 65 and under division and John Simmer was fifth in the 186 and over division.
The Saturday morning league awards badges based on improvement of which, Kaiden achieved hits 250 and 300 series (three game total) and is working next on a 350 series. The league season ends April 5 with even more trophies.
Jason Olson is at