Bowling: Alexandria native Antonio Tejeda rolls a 300 at the USBC Open Championship – Alexandria Echo Press

Antonio Tejeda, an Alexandria native, has bowled many 300 games in his life. Ten to be exact. One stands out a little higher than most now as it came on the biggest stage at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships on May 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

This perfect game is his fifth in the last two years.

“Other than my first one, that probably ranks as my second favorite,” Tejeda said.

Tejeda had a bevy of support with him in Las Vegas.

“What made it so special is that my dad was there with me and a bunch of my friends and stuff like that. So that was amazing,” Tejeda said.

His dad, Raule, helped teach him all about bowling.

“He showed me the basics and kind of got me into it and stuff like that,” Antonio said.

Antonio also said a handful of friends who he plays with also helped him grow as well. Tejada rolled a 230 in the first of three singles games. Tejeda rolled a 300 game in the second game.

“It was so overwhelming and amazing,” Antonio said. “I had to kind of keep the emotions in check a little bit because I still had a game to go to finish singles. And I had a pretty good score because I had 230 the first game going in. You have to kind of calm your heart rate back down because you still had another game to perform.”

Tejeda, who made his 17th open appearance, said in a press release that the hardest shot for him is the 11th.

“On the first shot, I wasn’t as nervous,” Tejeda said in the release. “I always find the 11th to be the worst one. So I tried to get the ball off my hand and get it going right, because that’s the way we were playing it. On the third one, I figured we’re here, make a quality shot and whatever happens, happens. It was exciting. I knew when I threw it, it was in play.”

Tejeda rolled a 170 to finish with a 701 for the series. In the entirety of the championships, Tejeda rolled a 2,143 score.

The Championships are an open invitation to those who want to compete. The competition lasts from March to July 18 and garners over 50,000 bowlers nationwide.

“It’s kind of like any other tournament. You sign up, you bring guys in, a full team of doubles and singles,” Antonio said. “There’s no real requirements to go out there. There are divisions, there’s three of them. We’re in the upper division, so we bowl against all the pros.”

Antonio and Chad Meyer, the co-owner and general manager of Garden Center Lanes in Alexandria, rolled a combined score of 1,465 and as of May 26, are unofficially in sixth place in the regular doubles series.

“It’s still going on and I know we just dropped a spot but we had a really good run there too,” Anotonio said.

For the entire year, Tejeda hones in his craft and tries to improve his bowling skills while working a job and spending time with family and friends.

“I would say maybe hopefully once a month,” Tejeda said when asked how many times a month he competes competitively. “It’s been a lot less this year because family wise I had other goals. When I’m full on going, I try to compete in a tournament once a month, either an individual scratch tournament or something with my group that we all go for.”

Day-to-day, Tejeda works at SunOpta Aseptic.

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