Father and daughter share doubles experience at 2018 USBC Open Championships

By Matt Cannizzaro and Fran Piraino
USBC Communications

Stuart Sheck's time as a reigning champion at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships came to an end Sunday at the Oncenter Convention Center, but the 2018 tournament offered him a unique and priceless experience he won't soon forget.

Although the 57-year-old right-hander from Germantown, Maryland, will not repeat as Standard Doubles champion, an honor he earned in 2017 with Robert Tonelli of Henderson, Nevada, Sheck got to share the lanes in Syracuse with another special doubles partner, his 21-year-old daughter, Adriana.

Having the opportunity to bowl together in doubles at the USBC Open Championships further cemented the Shecks strong father-daughter bowling bond, which began when Stuart first put a bowling ball in Adriana's hands for bumper bowling when she was 4.

"You can't image how great it is bowling with your daughter in this tournament." Stuart Sheck said. "It's the coolest thing. She loves bowling, she loves bowling with me and I love bowling with her."

With a combined entering average of 432, the Shecks competed in the Regular Division this year, but nothing could take away from how special the opportunity was.

"It was nice to try and win it with him," Adriana Sheck said. "It meant a lot. I love bowling with him because we are really close."

A year ago, Sheck and Tonelli, longtime friends and doubles partners, won the inaugural Standard Doubles crown with a 1,236 total at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas. But, prior to capturing the 2017 title, Tonelli informed Sheck he would be sitting out the 2018 event in Syracuse.

That gave the Shecks the opportunity to bowl together this year.

"We couldn't have been more excited to bowl this together," Stuart said. "We didn't care what division we bowled in."

The Shecks shared a heart-warming moment at the end of doubles when dad gave his only child a big smile and a hug.

They finished with a 1,123 doubles total. Stuart led the way with a 578 series, and Adriana posted a 545 set. USBC Hall of Famer Steve Kloempken of Pleasant View, Utah, and former Team USA member David Haynes of Las Vegas lead Regular Doubles this year with 1,453.

The elder Sheck, making his 23rd USBC Open Championships appearance, added 532 in singles and 515 in team for a 1,625 all-events total, while the left-handed Adriana, in her second tournament appearance, had 550 in team and 495 in singles for 1,590.

"He always tells me to keep smiling because you bowl better with a smile," Adriana said. "We try to have fun with it. He always keeps me grounded."

Adriana made her Open Championships debut last year as a sub on Sheck's companion team.

She watched her father and Tonelli's final frames at South Point as they took lead. Adriana's mom, Keri, also witnessed her husband's championship performance, but she stayed home and didn't attend the Open Championship this year.

Adriana made sure her mother didn't miss out on Stuart's award ceremony, though, taking a video of the watch presentation prior to their team event Saturday in Syracuse.

"Watching him receive his watch for winning, I was proud and excited," Adriana said. "I'm so happy for him. I'm definitely a proud daughter."

Standard Doubles, introduced as part of the new Standard Division in 2017, includes tandems with combined entering averages of 361-418. Regular Doubles is for teams with combined entering averages of 419 and above.

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