What's a senior championship without a senior moment?
Everybody had a good laugh when one of the competitors lost track of his ball before the Greater Buffalo USBC Association's 35th annual Stan Kowalski Seniors Handicap Tournament at Southgate Lanes earlier this month.
After a few moments of panic, it was found in the ball polishing machine.
Last fall Richard Wieand Sr. and Henry "Big Hank" Szlachetka were inducted into the GBUSBC Hall of Fame for their contributions to the sport locally, not as competitors. Dutch and Big Hank now have earned some spurs in the Kowalski for their competitive ability.
Wieand took first place in the Class A (ages 70-74) division with a 798 series with handicap. Szlachetka won the top prize in Class C (60-64) with a 794 handicap total.
In Class B (65-69), Sandra Snyder of East Aurora topped the field of 26 entires with a 776 handicap total.
Other winners were: Class AA -- John Kacko 766, and Class D -- Paul Szydlowski, 754. A field of 133 bowlers took part.
>Buffalo team second
A contingent of some of Western New York's best women bowlers hit the lanes near Charlotte, N.C., this week for the USBC Women's Open and the USBC Queens Tournament. The Open bills itself as the world's largest participatory sports competition for women.
Right away, some locals made their presence felt.
The Bowlers Choice Pro Shop team from Transit Lanes moved into second place in the Classic Team Division with 952-1,160-1,053 for a 3,165 total.
The Western New York women got a big assist from Tiffany Stambrough of Oklahoma City, Okla., who turned in a 689 series, which included a 266 in the middle game, but all team members contributed big scores. Susan Jeziorski (Tonawanda) posted 228-589, Susanne Nawojski (Lancaster) had 248-598, Michelle Sterner (Niagara Falls) turned in 233-242-658 and Liz Johnson (Cheektowaga) had 225-225-631.
Cindy Carroll of Williamsville posted a 709 in Classic Singles, which ranks fifth.
In other news at the Women's Open this week: former touring pro Leanne Barrette shot an 804 series, second highest in the history of the tournament, to power her Ebonite Bowlers Map team of Roseville, Calif., to the top in the Classic Division standings with a 3,210 total. Barrette had games of 288-248-268 at Northcross Lanes in Huntersville, N.C. The all-time record is 812 by Kendra Gaines in 2000. The Ebonite team included defending USBC Queens Champion Shannon Pluhowsky, who bowled 621.
Also, Wendy Macpherson of Henderson, Nev., the first woman to win the singles title at a USBC Open (formerly the ABC Championship), moved into the lead in Classic All-Events with a 752 series in team, 724 in doubles and 685 singles for 2,161. A 20-time titlist on the inactive Professional Women's Bowling Association tour, Macpherson won the USBC singles last year and is seeking a fifth title in the women's championship at AMF Carolina Lanes in Mathews, N.C.
Johnson, Jeziorski, Sterner, Carroll and Heidi Septer of Buffalo are entered in the USBC Queens Tournament which gets under way today.
>O'Keefe wins Queens
Team USA member Shannon O'Keefe of Rochester defeated Liz Johnson in the Division I title match of the New York State Queens Tournament held last weekend at the Tonawanda Bowling Center. The top qualifier, O'Keefe, 28, outdueled Liz, 237-227. In the semifinal match of the stepladder finals, Johnson defeated Dianne Grub (Suffolk County), 229-181. O'Keefe was the State Queens champion in 2001 also.
The Division II title match was an all-Syracuse affair with Lori Wilcox defeating Tina Becciu, 258-165. Laura Gunn of Buffalo finished fifth.
*Eric Johns of Niagara Falls (971) and John Masiello of Kenmore (931) stand first and third in senior singles at the USBC/Storm Bowlers Journal Tournament in Reno, Nev., and still own the lead in the doubles with 1,902. Mike Faliero of West Seneca is fourth in open singles with 972. Faliero and Dave Guindon of West Seneca are third in doubles with 1,865.
*In the USBC Open in Reno, Jamestown Bowling Center No. 1 stands in 17th place with 3,170 pins. Larry Case (653) led the Jamestown team, which also included Randy Herron (646), Reginald Textor (644), Jeff Wadsworth (640) and Jim Mee (587). Zawadzki Jewelers II of Lackawanna is 76th with Johns (599), Mike Faliero (611), Joer Mercurio Jr. (590), Masiello (669) and Fran Bax (576).
*The GBUSBC is requesting resumes from bowlers interested in running for the organization's directorships or to participate as volunteers. Resumes should be sent to the GBUSBC Association office, 2448 Union Road, Cheektowaga, 14227-2230.
*May 5 is the entry deadline for the GBUSBC Association's 44th George A. Obenauer Masters Tournament, which will run May 15-20 at Transit Lanes.
*George Spencer made it two wins in a row on the Western New York Amateur Bowlers Tour when he defeated Isaac Layton Jr., 226-168, at Southgate Lanes. Spencer survived a two-frame roll-off against Andy Rettig, 60.4-36.6, to claim the fourth seed in the match play finals. He then defeated Charles Tyler, 246-215, to advance to the championship match.