By Bill Choy

Triplicate Sports Editor

The Tsunami Lanes bowling alley was at a standstill Wednesday night.

Everyone had their eyes fixed on Smith River resident Jeff Newton as he attempted to bowl a perfect game.

When he bowled his 12th strike, the entire place erupted in celebration.

Friend Paige Swan was so excited andquot;he lifted me up like I won the Super Bowl,andquot; Newton said. andquot;It was so funny. Everyone cheered.andquot;

Newton, 36, spent several minutes basking in the attention as a throng of well- wishers congratulated him on the accomplishment.

The evening was made more special due to the fact his wife and two of his sons were able to watch him bowl a perfect game.

andquot;That's all they could talk about until we got home,andquot; Newton said about his sons.

Wednesday evening started as another night on the lanes for Newton, who is in a bowling league at Tsunami Lanes with a group of friends.

He started the match bowling well, getting scores of 232 and 257 his first two games.

By the eighth frame of his third game, Newton thought he might have a chance to get a perfect game.

Ironically, Jeff Newton's father Jerry was bowling at a nearby lane and also had eight strikes after eight frames. In the ninth frame, he was unable to get a strike.

Newton said he tried not to let the pressure get to him.

andquot;I was just having fun,andquot; he said.

Swan, on the other hand, said he got so nervous at times, his knees were knocking.

andquot;It was just really neat to see,andquot; he said. andquot;I'm so happy I was there.andquot;

This is not the first time Newton has accomplished a sporting milestone.

Last year, he said he got a hole-in-one.

But, if he had to choose which one he's most proud of, Newton said he has to go with the perfect game.

To him, luck can be a factor in getting a hole-in-one, but to get 12 strikes in a row takes a little more than luck to accomplish.

Swan said he plans to throw a party at his house this weekend to celebrate his friend's achievement.