"It was like the four-minute mile being broken for the first time." That's how Eric Cornell, director of the monthly king-of-the-hill tournament at Riverbend Bowl in Corunna, Mich., put it after watching "Troy Ockerman (above) roll three straight 300 games in the finals of the December event for, pending certification, the first sanctioned 900 series in bowling history. The 26-year-old Ockerman, a video-game serviceman from Owosso, Mich., and now the Roger Bannister of the alleys, was, by all accounts, remarkably relaxed. "People were talking, and he was joking back," says Cornell.
But in the end Ockerman, who has a 216 average, showed that he felt pressure. After letting his 36th ball go, he turned away and dropped to one knee, afraid to look. "But then I lifted my head and saw the pins go down," says Ockerman. "I screamed, 'Yes!' " He was then carried triumphantly around the lanes on the shoulders of spectators. "It was incredible," he says. "It's not just once in a lifetime. It's once in history."
Ockerman, who must now wait for the American Bowling Congress to ratify the score (the highest series on record is the 899 by Tom Jordan of Paterson, N.J., in 1989), probably hopes history will repeat itself. His new goal is to join the PBA tour.