HELENA -- This week's Sidelines reports on Helena-area runners at the Boston Marathon, March's top bowlers at the local bowling alley, and a couple of young gymnasts who competed at the regional tournament.
Matt Roberts, 34, traversed the 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 50 minutes, 9 seconds. After a slow start, he wound up placing 850th in his age-group. Roberts, competing in his third Boston and overcoming several nagging injuries, lowered his old Beantown PR of 2:59 by nine minutes.
"I just tried to think of things I was grateful for, to keep my mind off the pain," texted Roberts, when asked how he was able to rally back in the second half of the race. "And I told myself, if the hip locks up, it locks up -- and that's all right. But it didn't.
"This was a huge confidence builder heading into Montana's race season," he said. "I'm pleased considering the injuries and actually enjoyed the experience a lot more than the other two Bostons. Definitely very thankful."
Branden Joy, 25, led the local contingent of runners by 37 seconds, clocking a 2:49:31 and finishing 808th in his age group. Kyle Strode, 55, achieved the highest age-group placing of the Capital City group, taking 40th in his division with a 3:08.29.
John Morrison, 57, ran a 3:52.31, and took 789th in his age group, while Chris Fish, 50, was timed in 4:04.56 and finished 531st in her women's division. Rob Loveridge, 65, competing in his 12th Boston, ran a 5:01:49 and placed 387th in his age group.
At Sleeping Giant Lanes, last month's top scores were highlighted by Brady Kirkeby's 300 game and his 799 series. This is the seventh perfecto of Kirkeby's career.
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Kevin Lindgren just missed a 300, firing a 298 game, while Jim Darby rolled a 289. Rich Franco and Matt Gorecki posted a 742 and 726 series, respectively.
On the women's side, Paige Collick shot a 255-668, and Stephanie Dull bowled a 253. Stephanie Dull had a 253 game, and Jenny Chambers achieved a 248.
Barb Sheridan rolled a 643 series, while Danielle Bolan threw a 635.
Also, the Jean and Clarence Applegate family will be inducted into the USBC State Bowling Hall of Fame on May 18, at Butte's Star Lanes.
Lexi McGrath of the Helena Athletic Club, competing in the very last session on Sunday night at the Region II Junior Olympics Gymnastics Championships in Corvallis, Oregon, placed 10th all-around (35.900 points) in the Level 8 Seniors. She also finished seventh in the vault with a score 9.375.
HAC teammate Gabi Baucus took 14th all-around (35.475) and was 11th on the vault.