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Ruth Konhorst
The Centralia Sports Hall of Fame
2011 Individual Award Winner


 

Ruth Jones Konhorst is just one of the many Centralia women who actively participated in a number of athletic arenas throughout her lifetime.

She began her sporting career in grade sschool by participating in the grade school intramural basketball program.  After being promoted to high school, she moved her athletic talents to the softball diamond.  Ruth played first base and carried a .333 batting average for three consecutive years while competing during the summer in tournaments throughout Southern Illinois as a member of the Payday fast pitch softball team.  She also pursued her love of singing by auditioning and being selected to sing in the chorus of the St. Louis Muny Spera during her sophomore and junior summers.

After marrying, Mrs. Konhorst continued to play softball on the Mother's Team, as well as compete in barrel racing in the local rodeos from 1953 to 1961.  She retired her softball cleats and rodeo competition in 1961, but did not retire from athletics.  Ruth decided to take up a new sport - bowling!  A year later her competitive spirit emerged when she won the Globe Democrat Carling Singles Classic.  The following year, in 1963 she bowled an almost perfect game.

The American Bowling Congress acknowledged Konhorst's accomplishment by awarding her a 299 patch and a 676 scratch series patch, as well as featuring her in the February, 1964 issue of Women's Bowler magazine.  Ruth, age 30,  was pictured holding the lone pin that didn't fall after throwing 11 consecutive strikes in the Woman's Bowling Association Tournament at Banks Bowl in Centralia.  

Konhorst, the first Centralia woman to bowl 299, was presented with a sapphire ring and the "Magic Triangle" Omega watch from the WIBC and the American Bowling Congress.  She continued to collect awards for her bowling talent when she was named Bowler of the Year and won All Events, Team Doubles and Singles, as well as Scratch Series and Singles in 1968.

Just three years after beginning her new sport she was consistently rolling multiple 600 series.  During her first two years she averaged 164 and raised her average to 200+ for six consecutive years.  She maintained a 185 average until she retired.  In the early 1970's she was awarded the WIBC "Triple" patch for bowling three consecutive games of 196 as well as two all-spare games.

During her 23 years of bowling, Konhorst accumulated multiple awards acknowledging her athleticism in singles, doubles, team and all-event league and tournament competitions.  Two highlights of her bowling career were Matched Games against two of Centralia's leading men bowlers, John McCann and russ Childers.  She beat McCann 626 to 452, but her 564 score fell 7 pins short of beating Childers' 570.

Ruth retired from bowling in 1984, but actively follows women's college softball, St. Louis Cardinal baseball, and her grandson's basketball and baseball competitions.

Konhorst was born in Centralia to Amos F. Jones and Marguerite Hood Jones, and raised there.  She married Jackie D. Konhorsst in 1950.  They are the parents of a daughter Kathryn Konhorst Fletcher and a son Jack D. Konhorst.  She retired after 25 years as a bookkeeper and resides in the home she and her husband built in 1954.


 

 

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