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Svendsen on a roll
Chad Svendsen, shown at Leisure Lanes earlier this week, now holds the city record for highest series with an 856, beating the previous mark set by Gail Myers Jr. in 2011. (Times photo: Marissa Weiher)
MONROE - For the most recent record-breaking bowler in the city of Monroe, the sport continues to be a family tradition.

Chad Svendsen knocked down his second series score over 800 to make his mark. On Dec. 15, he threw games of 288, 300 and 268 to reach 856 at Leisure Lanes. Svendsen replaced Gail Myers Jr., who previously held the city record with an 842 series score. Myers Jr. has boasted the top spot since the 2011 season.

"It was a pretty good feeling," Svendsen said. "Doesn't happen very often, so when it does it's pretty fun."

That night was Svendsen's 10th time bowling a 300 game in his life. Two weeks ago, he was able to knock down another.

Svendsen is a native of Monticello who began bowling as soon as he could walk. Now 30, Svendsen has been involved in bowling for more than two decades and hopes to pass along the tradition to his own children. His 3-year-old son already joins him in the lanes from time to time.

It all began with his grandfather, who bowled in a league. His father followed, taking Svendsen along to Leisure Lanes after a day of farming. Svendsen spent four years bowling at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He traveled for tournaments in the club league and saw his team finish 5th out of 64-team bracket. His wife, an alumnus of UW-Whitewater, is also an avid bowler. She created and still coaches the bowling club at Monroe High School.

With three children and as the owner of the Gasthaus Motel in Monroe, Svendsen said the amount of time he spends knocking down pins has decreased. Even though he graces the top of the record-holder wall at Leisure Lanes, Svendsen rarely gets to practice his favorite pastime. However, each Tuesday night during the 32-week bowling season, he meets with friends to duel it out at the lanes and even takes part in a tournament now and then.

"It's a nice night out," Svendsen said. "It's relaxing fun with friends, but it's obviously still competitive. It's nice to be the best."

Throughout his tenure as a bowler, Svendsen admits to buying into an old wives' tale about splits. If there is a split standing in a lane next to him, he won take his turn until it is gone. He said despite the teasing, he would rather play it safe.

Svendsen has invested much time and effort into bowling. He began an adult league at the age of 12 and has had personalized equipment for more than a decade.