SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Berenice (Beth) Reese of Haymarket, Va., is a riveting storyteller when swapping tales of her adventures while competing at the USBC Women's Championships. But she is also one impressive bowler, as she proved this week at the Oncenter Convention Center.
Reese wrapped up her stay in Syracuse with a games of 256, 225 and 235 for a 716 scratch singles series, and an additional 26 pins of handicap per game helped her into third place in Diamond Singles with 794. Brittany Signor of Watertown, N.Y., leads with 806.
The 48-year-old added 654 in doubles and 625 in team for a 1,995 scratch all-events total and cruised into second place in Diamond All-Events with 2,229. Elizabeth Hubler-Rike of Grand Rapids, Mich., leads with 2,270.
Reese's team, The Miller Time Girls of Aberdeen, Md., also cracked the top 10 and slid into sixth place in Diamond Team with a 3,290 handicap total. Reese's doubles partner is Ellen Ripken, the sister of retired pro-baseball player, Cal Ripken, formerly of the Baltimore Orioles.
"My goal was to hit three 600 series this trip to Nationals, and I did it," said Reese, who made her eighth Women's Championships appearance. "I just felt good about my bowling - everything just felt right from the start."
If anyone should trust her instincts, it's the soft-spoken Reese. A USBC Bronze coach for six years - soon to be a Silver coach - at her home center, Bowl America Bull Run in Manassas, Va., she started late in the sport. But, she has far surpassed what others have spent a lifetime trying to achieve.
Originally from Texas, she was curious about the sport.
"I began bowling at 37 as a hobby after my two sons started school, and then I took lessons to improve," Reese said. "I wanted to know everything about it, so I just dove in. It's just really about discipline. You have to believe in the logic of discipline."
That philosophy netted the right-hander a 2004 Texas state all-events title, a Dallas County doubles championship the same year and a 2007 Maryland state championship in singles. So far, she has a career-high series of 804.
Meanwhile, having her older son, Fritz, become a senior in college after entering college after seventh grade, is another focus in her life. The 18-year-old is talented in math and electrical engineering as well as an accomplished classic pianist, says his proud mom. She and his dad used discipline fairly, but consistently, she says.
"My child-rearing philosophy is similar to how I handle bowling," Reese said.
Reese's engineer husband, William, also is planning a return to the lanes this fall. After a five-year hiatus, he has decided to take up the sport again, and she says it's just a matter of time before he will regain his former 200+ average.
"I just hope it doesn't mean he talks about 'moments of inertia' and other technical aspects this time, though" Reese said with a laugh. "There are just too many other facets to enjoy about the game and overcoming those pins."
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.