PHOENIX — They may have nearly 200 birthdays between them, but Vic Marana and Paul Midkiff keep rolling.
The tandem have bowled together for the past few years on the Nite Owls in the Sun City Owls League at Lakeview Lanes.
"We're probably the oldest bowlers out there," Marana said.
Midkiff is 101 years old and has "rolled balls at anything standing up in alleys."
Marana is 96 and bowls in three leagues, including the Owls, where he fired a 544 series Dec. 8.
"It's something I enjoy, and it gives me something to do," Midkiff said. "I get exercise and enjoy the (Sun City Owls) league because it's a social league."
Midkiff bowls Mondays and Thursdays and uses a 12-pound ball.
"I had to drop down last year; I used a 15-pound ball for a long time," he said.
The Sun City centenarian carries a 123 average and notched a 178 game during a recent game. Despite playing 10-pin and 7-pin for as long as he can remember, Midkiff said he's never had a perfect game. His best game was a 286.
"The 10 pin or the seven pin always stayed up on me," he said. "For whatever reason, when I'd get close, one of those pins wouldn't fall. Now I just try to stay consistent and let my arm swing free and easy."
Marana credited his late wife, Desdemona, for getting him into the league. The Minnesota native said he's always bowled as far back as high school, where he also played football and basketball.
"(Bowling) is a great place to meet people," Marana said. "Plus, I always wanted to be in the top position. So that kept me coming back. When we retired, my wife said I had to do something and pushed me to join a bowling league."
Marana said he used a 16-pound ball for a long time, but following a battle with prostate cancer, he developed back pain and his doctor suggested using a lighter ball.
"I went to a 10-pound ball, but that felt like I was bowling with an apple," Marana said. "So I went up to a 13-pound ball and so far, so good."
So good is right. As part of his 544 series, Marana rolled a 212 game. That's 54 pins over his 158 average. But like Midkiff, Marana is still searching for perfection.
"I rolled some 245s with the 16-pound ball," Marana said.
Marana, who is of Sicilian heritage, said there is one recipe that has helped him bowl well into his 90s.
"Spaghetti," Marana said. "I eat lots of spaghetti."
Information from: Daily News-Sun, http://www.dailynews-sun.com/