There was a surprise team leader among the men and form prevailed in the women's competition on Friday, the first day of the National Junior College Athletic Association bowling championships at AMF Airport Lanes. The tournament wraps up today with three games of traditional team bowling and three blocks of three Baker format games.
Ancilla College of Donaldson, Ind., leads the men's team scoring after the doubles and singles and three games of five-man team competition with 8,410 total pins. Twenty men's teams are competing.
Erie Community College (8,166) was in fourth place behind defending champion Iowa Central CC (8,350), and Highland (Ill.) Community College (8,306).
No surprise in the women's team competition. Schenectady County CC, which has won the last three titles, owns the lead with (7,787) over Ancilla (7,714). ECC is well off the pace in 12th place with 6,307. Sixteen women's teams are entered.
The men's singles champion, by a single pin, is Steven Welch of Suffolk CC with a 644 total. Alex Dudley of Iowa Central was next with 643. Alex Weinreich of ECC was leading with a 438 (223-215) after two games but a 160 in his final game knocked him out of contention. His 598 was good for sixth place.
Weinreich, however, stood fifth in all-events with 1,744 after nine games. Welch of Suffolk CC leads all-events with 1,848, only five pins better than Colton Baker of Ancilla.
Walter Griffin and Baker of Ancilla were the doubles winners with 1,229 total. Joshua Large (527) and Alex Leader (612) of ECC were fourth with 1,139.
There was a new singles champion on the women's side but she was from the same school. Quinn Hodson of Schenectady shot 628 to lead the field of 88 bowlers in singles. Last year's champion, Lauren Piotrowski of Schenectady, shot 552 and finished fifth.
Amy Feldman of ECC was 13th with 538.
Piotrowski (592) and freshman teammate Jenna Lemke (530) teamed up to keep the doubles title in Schenectady's hands. Another Royals pair won it last year. Feldman (534)and Chelsea Simmeth (431) of ECC finished 10th.
Piotrowski is the all-events leader after nine games with 1,704 pins, an 189.3 average. Feldman is ninth with 1,544.
Daemen wins at Molloy
Daemen won three matches and lost to nationally ranked Adelphi and Medaille but was the overall winner in the Molloy College Invitational last Saturday in Mineola. Kaitlyn Newberry averaged 19.02 per frame in the Baker format and Katie Good (Hamburg) averaged 18.42 to lead the Wildcats. The next day, Daemen went 3-3 in matches and finished sixth in the Molloy Baker Challenge in Plainview on Long Island.
The Wildcats will compete in the East Coast Conference Championships on March 23 in Port Jefferson.
Elsewhere in collegiate bowling, Haley Carroll (Williamsville South) led Saint Francis (Pa.) in traditional scoring with a 198.33 average as the Red Flash went 6-6 in last weekend's round-robin play in Farmingdale. Saint Francis finished the Northeast Conference regular season with a 10-8 record, good for the fourth seed in the conference championship tournament.
Unified programs take hold
There's been a new addition to the Western New York bowling scene and Section VI athletics for high schools in the region.
The first Unified Bowling tournaments in the region were held this week at Brad Angelo Lanes and AMF Lancaster Lanes.
In Unified sports, students with disabilities team with students who have no disabilities in sports competitions. Bowling is the second unified sports program in Section VI. The first was basketball, which is played in the spring. Basketball began three years ago. This year there will be 16 schools in the program.
Teams compete as four-bowler units.
The tournaments, involving 150 bowlers, followed a month of regular competition among students from 13 Section VI high schools. The Northern Division competed at Brad Angelo Lanes in Lockport. Medina led the way there followed by Akron, Sweet Home, Newfane, Clarence and Niagara Falls.
Cheektowaga was the overall winner in the Southern Division competition at Lancaster, followed by Iroquois, Holland, Eden, Olmsted, Lackawanna and Salamanca.
Unified athletes wear the uniform of their schools and are regarded as varsity athletes and awarded letters, team jackets or letter sweaters.
"It's a combination of competing and allowing special students to enjoy the experience of wearing the uniform of their school and enjoying the camaraderie and friendship of being part of a team," said Daniel Kuberka of Special Olympics Western New York Region.
Bowling allows more students to participate than basketball. Because of safety concerns, wheelchair athletes don't compete in basketball, but they can bowl.
The state Public High Schools Athletic Association wants to add a fall sport to the Unified Sports roster, and several are under consideration.