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Milt Northrop’s Bowling: NJCAAs to stay in Buffalo through 2017

Buffalo has been known as the home of the National Junior College Athletic Association bowling championship, and that distinction will remain for at least four more years with this week’s announcement that Erie Community College has been awarded the championship for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017. The 2014 tournament already was scheduled here.

ECC has been the host 43 times. The ECC women’s team won the team title in the most recent championship last month with freshman Liz Szpara of Orchard Park finishing second in all-events. Schenectady CC upset perennial power Vincennes (Ind.) for the men’s title.

The award is a reflection of ECC’s commitment to the sport, a tradition begun under the late Kerm Helmer and AMF Thruway Lanes’ continued interest in being the host venue for major bowling events.

Thruway will be the site of next month’s George A. Obenauer Masters Championship, the 10th time the Walden Avenue facility has been the site of the Obie.

USBC women get going

The 94th edition of the USBC Women’s Championship got under way last weekend in the Sparks County Convention Center in Reno, Nev. Reno also will be the site in June for the USBC Senior Queens and Queens Championships, which will be held in the National Bowling Stadium there.

Last year’s Women’s Championship saw a breakout performance by Buffalo native Lindsay Baker, who now makes her home in Utah.

Baker won the scratch all-events with a 784 series in doubles, 735 in singles and 707 in team for a 2,226 total. That was the third-highest all-events score in the tournament’s history. She teamed with Junior Team USA member Elysia Current to win Scratch Doubles, and they tied for the top spot in Diamond Doubles. She just missed a fourth title, finishing second in Diamond All-Events, which includes handicap. The championship ends July 1.

Hamilton takes title

Brittni Hamilton of Webster defeated Deborah Capullo of Schenectady, 220-208, in the title match to earn the $1,100 first prize in the Open Division of the New York State Queens Tournament in Guilderland.

Hamilton, 22, who was a casher in the State Masters Championship in Newark last month, bowled a 300 in the State Women’s Championship Team event at Del Lanes in Albany. She led the qualifying for the Queens with 1,208. Sue Nawojski of Lancaster qualified fourth with 1,112 pins for five games, Sue Jeziorski of West Seneca was fifth with 1,101 and Michelle Sterner of Niagara Falls was eighth with 1,088.

None of the Buffalo area bowlers made it to the stepladder finals, however. Nawojski was eliminated in Round Three by Capullo. Jeziorski and Sterner lost their first matches after earning a bye into the second round.

The 89th New York State Open Championships begins today at Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool.

The State Open Senior Championships will be held in October at Jamestown Bowling Company. Entry forms are available on line at the New York State USBC Association website.

Perfect times three

James Williams of Pawcatuck, Conn. recently bowled 36 consecutive strikes for a perfect 900 series at Old Mountain Lanes in nearby Wakefield, R.I. The 47-year-old right-hander became the 21st in history to record a perfect series. It’s been accomplished 22 times. Robert Mushtare of Fort Drum did it twice in one season – December of 2005 and Februrary of 2006. Williams’ achievement is pending approval from the USBC.

In Williams’ final frame, the 4-pin fell late on his first shot, the 10-pin was last on the second. His final ball was a light hit on the head pin with a lot of mix.

Williams has averaged 240 on several occasions and owns several honor scores.

“I was a little nervous with everybody watching, but I tried to take it one shot at a time and just see what would happen,” Williams said.

The first USBC-approved 900 occurred Feb. 2, 1997 when Jeremy Sonnenfeld rolled three consecutive perfect games in Lincoln, Neb. There has never been a 900 on Sport Bowling lane conditions.

Pin chasers

• Marshall Kent of Robert Morris-Illinois won Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row as selected by the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association. Kent, who is from Yakima, Wash., led the country in average with 218.59. The female award went to Wichita State junior Tannya Roumimper, who is from Indonesia.

• Opening night of the Greater Buffalo USBC Association Open and Women’s Championship at Transit Lanes in Williamsville is a little more than a week away. The city tournaments will begin on Tuesday, April 30 and continue to May 11.