Texans take lead at 2019 USBC Women's Championships

By Christian Seaborn
USBC Communications

- Longtime teammates Lori Wacker of Burleson, Texas, and Mary Sanford of Fort Worth, Texas, took the Ruby Doubles lead Tuesday at the 2019 United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships.

The 2019 event is in its fourth day of competition at Northrock Lanes and saw Sanford roll games of 182, 216 and 190 for a 588 series, while Wacker added 176, 208 and 171 for a 555 total to bring the pair to a 1,143 mark to move to the top of the leaderboard.

Sandra Hall of Auburn, Indiana, and Julie Lukemire of Fort Wayne, Indiana, previously led Ruby Doubles with 1,117.

Although it's early in the 2019 event, which runs until June 30, both Wacker and Sanford know you can't win unless you leave in the lead. Being able to make a run to the top of the standings in the 100th edition of the event made the moment even better.

"It feels good to be in the lead at the 100th edition of the (USBC) Women's Championships," said Wacker, who made her ninth tournament appearance. "We've never been in this position before, so it's really exciting."

Back in Texas, Wacker and Sanford are dedicated teammates as well, having bowled together for 20 years. Wacker drives an hour each way on Friday nights so they can compete together in the same league at Plano Super Bowl in Plano, Texas.

They're close friends off the lanes, too. Wacker, who works as a hair stylist, even does her teammate's hair.

While the tournament is all about having a good time with your closest friends, they're still happy to see the work they've put into it their games pay off at the world's largest participatory sporting event for women.

"I am more dedicated to the sport today compared to 20 years ago," said Sanford, who made her 22nd Women's Championships appearance. "I am always looking to learn more and improve."

Sanford and Wacker also moved into the top 10 in Ruby All-Events. Sanford added sets of 546 in singles and 469 in team for a 1,603 total to move into fourth place, while Wacker moved into a tie for eighth place after sets of 539 in singles and 482 in team for a 1,576 total. Karen Jost of Tumwater, Washington, leads Ruby All-Events with 1,732.

Ruby Doubles includes bowlers with combined entering averages of 350-379.

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