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Bowling: Kristina Szczerbinski leads state tournament

 Kristina Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda is the leader in both the Scratch Singles and Scratch All-Events after the first two weekends of competition in the New York State Women’s Championships at the Tonawanda Bowling Center. There are three more weekends of competition left in the event ,which will wrap up on May 21.
Szczerbinski, an Illinois native who was a collegiate All-American and later former coach at Maryland-Eastern Shore, is the wife of PBA Tour bowler and former North Tonawanda High and Wichita State star John Szczerbinski.
She recorded 706 in the Team event to go along with her 740 in Singles and 742 in Doubles, for a 2,188 Scratch All-Events total. Traci Spanitz of Rochester, whose total includes a 300 game in the team event, is second with 2,124 while Liz Kuhlkin from Schenectady-Scotia is third with 2,069.
The Kenmore Lanes team is second to the Islanders No. 4 (2,096) in the Scratch team competition.
Sellens strikes again
A bit of state bowling history was made last weekend when Shannon Sellens of Copiague won the New York State Queens Open Division title at Rapids Bowling Center in Niagara Falls. It was the fourth straight state Queens title for the mortgage banker from Long Island, equalling the feat by Barbara Leicht-Bowlers of Albany. The win was worth $1,050 for Sellens.
Sellens defeated Amber Dominic of Latham, 216-172, in the title match.
Buffalo-area bowlers made a strong showing in the Queens, both in the Open Division and the Classified Division.
Four locals qualified for match play after the five-games first round – Sue Nawojski of Lancaster (994), Michelle Sterner of Niagara Falls (993), Carrie Racsumberger of Cheektowaga (989) and Szczerbinski (984). Elizabeth Szpara, former Erie Community College bowler from Orchard Park, was a casher.
Sellens eliminated Szczerbinski in the match-play portion of the tournament, 203-181. Nawojski lost her match in a two-frame rolloff to Christina Collier of Rochester after each bowled a 206. Sterner advanced to the stepladder with a 199-150 triumph over Shanna Chapelsky of East Rochester and won her first stepladder match over Alexandra Stein of Brooklyn (177-168) before falling to eventual runner-up Dominic (204-171). Sterner earned $475.
Donna Fitzpatrick of Buffalo was the top qualifier in the Classified Division, shooting 963 to top a field of 25 entrants. Fitzpatrick, who collected $275 for her second-place finish, lost to No. 2 qualifier Amy Emens of Rochester, 151-128, in the title match.
Madeline Jensen of Orchard Park bowled 910 for fourth place in the qualifying round.
PWBA Tour opens
Former Rochester resident Shannon O’Keefe is the defending champion of the first event of the Professional Women’s Bowlers Association Tour, the QUBICA AMF Sonoma County Open at Double Decker Lanes in Rohnert Park, Calif. Friday was the opening day of the tournament. O’Keefe won her first title and two more on the PWBA Tour in 2016.
The field of 125 bowlers includes Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga and Kristina Szczerbinski. Johnson won her fourth U.S. Women’s Open as well as the PWBA stop in Las Vegas on the 2016 Tour schedule. Liz topped the Tour with $60,200 in official earnings, 119,650 points, 13 cashes in 14 tournaments and five appearances in TV finals.
City tourney update
The Buffalo City Tournament – the Open and Women’s Championships – got underway Tuesday at AMF Lancaster Lanes and will continue through May 13.
In the Open, Stephen Biondi put up a 657 Scratch Singles and a 1,355 Six-Game Combine to lead those categories after the first two nights of competition.
George Pierce Jr. led the Handicap Singles with 687 while the Handicap Doubles leaders were Anthony Kohl and Jacob Hiam with 1,387. Ryan McIntyre and Biondi shot 1,317 to lead Scratch Doubles. A.Y.O.T.S. shot 2,915 to lead Handicap Team standings.
In the Women’s Championship, Julie Selk’s 654 led the singles and her 1,328 was on top of the leader board for the Combine. Selk and Jocelyn Stutz-Krempa shot 1,368 Scratch Doubles. They are second in Handicap Doubles to Krista Voelker-Burt and Michelle Sterner (1,377). In team, 4 Chicks were on top with 2,758.
A lot will change in the two-plus weeks of competition remaining in both tournaments.
New classification set
The United States Bowling Congress announced the creation of a new league classification for competition on lanes conditions that fall between the Standard or “house shot” and the more challenging Sport conditions.
A new Challenge lane condition designation and average conversion chart was determined based on research of leagues conducted under a Sport/Challenge designation, as well as leagues competing on Blue lane conditions.
Starting with the 2017-2018 season, when a league submits its certification, the league secretary must choose one, and only one, of three lane condition options: Standard, Challenge or Sport.
Standard will be for leagues conducted on traditional house conditions. Sport will be for true Sport leagues, while Challenge will be for leagues that use a variety of difficult patterns but are not classified as Sport-only leagues.
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