SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Shannon Sutton of Alta, Iowa, was raised in a bowling family, and she had her relatives by her side as she took the Ruby All-Events lead at the USBC Women's Championships this week.
"We call our teams the Iowa Neighbors because that's what we are," said Sutton, a 31-year-old right-hander. "Once a year, I get to see and bowl with my sister, grandmother, cousins, aunts and others, and we get pretty caught up in that. I knew I did well, but not that well."
Sutton rolled a 604 series in doubles and added 573 in singles and 547 in team for 1,724 scratch all-events total, and an additional 14 pins per game lifted her into the top spot with a 1,850 handicap total at the Oncenter Convention Center. Andrea Brown of Greensboro, N.C., previously held the lead with 1,818.
Sutton, the bookkeeper at Office Elements, began bowling at 5 years old and accompanied her father to many USBC Open Championships. This year marked her third appearance at the Women's Championships, and while she enjoyed Syracuse, she cites Reno as her favorite location and the National Bowling Stadium as her favorite venue.
"This was a good competition for me, and I really didn't have to adjust my ball much," Sutton said. "It was very smooth, and it broke well after pretty much consistently going between the first and second arrows."
Sutton's high series of 654 occurred during the 2010-11 league season at her home center of Century Lanes, where she carries a 168 average. Bowling has played a significant role in her life, and she even was awarded scholarship money for college through the Iowa Bowling Council's Certificate of Recognition.
"I've really enjoyed the opportunity to travel and bowl so many places," Sutton said. "I'd love to be able to take this award this year, if my score holds."
The Ruby Division is for bowlers with entering averages of 150-179. Handicap is 100 percent of 180.
Sponsors for the 2011 USBC Women's Championships sponsors include Turning Stone Resort and Casino, official brackets sponsor, Humana, official registration sponsor, Miller Lite and Molson Canadian, official beer sponsors. Supporting sponsors include Storm Bowling Products, Nationwide Insurance, The Oncenter, Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau, Caz Limo & Tours, Kegel, official lane maintenance provider, US Steltronic, official scoring system, and Brunswick, official lane provider.