RENO, Nev. - After two days and nine games of competition, 10 champions were crowned at the 2012 United States Bowling Congress Senior Championships on Wednesday.
Grace Jensen of Goshen, Utah, had the steepest climb as she claimed her first USBC Senior Championships title in the 75 and older classification of the Women's Division by moving from sixth place into the lead in her final three games of competition at the National Bowling Stadium. She finished with a 1,892 handicap total, just two pins ahead of Marion VanDreel of Denmark, Wis.
Jensen, 78, jumped all the way from 13th place after Tuesday's first qualifying round to get into the medal round. She feels both fortunate and a little lucky to be able to end her fourth Senior Championships appearance with a victory.
"It's totally awesome," Jensen said. "I was just really, really lucky to bowl as well as I did because yesterday, I bowled terrible. It is wonderful. We enjoy bowling here in Reno and couldn't ask for a better tournament. I thank everybody."
Truman Morgan, 66, of Burksville, Ky., also had his work cut out for him. He started the medal round in third place but dug deep to take home the ages 65-69 title in the Open Division with a 2,022 handicap total. He outlasted 1983 USBC Masters champion Michael Lastowski of Aberdeen, Md., who finished second with 2,007.
"It was quite a battle," said Morgan, who made his first Senior Championships appearance. "I just did everything I should do I guess, from one ball to the next, and it paid off. It really means a lot to me. It's one of the highlights of my life."
More than 375 male and female bowlers from across the United States and Canada took part in the two-day handicap singles event. All bowlers qualified for the Senior Championships through local and state tournaments.
After competing in two three-game blocks, the top six scores in each division/age category advanced to a medal round Wednesday to bowl three more games to determine the champions. Qualifying pinfall (with handicap) carried over to the medal round.
The other winners in the Open Division include: Ages 55-59 - Bill Herman, Dighton, Kan., 1,986; Ages 60-64 - Bruce Blackmer, Dedham, Maine, 2,078; Ages 70-74 - Phil Hodges, Pinehurst, Idaho, 1,967; Age 75 and above - Melvin White, Torrington, Wyo., 1,947.
Also claiming titles in the Women's Division are: Ages 55-59 - Margie Taft, Bloomfield, N.M., 1,968; Ages 60-64 - Marilyn Webb, Albany, Ore., 2,005; Ages 65-69 - Anneta Dawson, Loogootee, Ind., 2,004; Ages 70-74 - Karol Cooney, Arthur, Neb., 2,064.
Each winner received approximately $1,000 and a crystal bowling pin to recognize their victory. The runner-up in each division received a commemorative clock and third place received plaques.
For photos of the top finishers from the 2012 USBC Senior Championships at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., click here.
Open Division results
Age 75 and above
Women's Division results
Age 75 and above