100th USBC Women's Championships concludes in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. - The 100th edition of the United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships came to a close Sunday, helping wrap up a tournament-long celebration at Northrock Lanes.

The 2019 event kicked off April 20 and lasted for 72 days in The Air Capital of the World. A total of 4,108 four-player teams, more than 16,000 bowlers, participated at the 48-lane venue, competing in four average-based divisions for team competition and six divisions for doubles, singles and all-events.

All standings are unofficial and pending final verification.

The top score in each discipline came from the Diamond Division, which features bowlers with entering averages of 190 and above.

050819-Beverly-Gonzalez_637Beverly Gonzalez of Sierra Vista, Arizona, took the lead in Diamond Singles on May 7, firing games of 279, 243 and 276 for a 798 series. The series was the second-highest total recorded in singles competition in USBC Women's Championships history (Michelle Feldman rolled 816 to win Classic Singles in 2009).

051419JordanNewhamLaurenPate_637Lauren Pate of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, and Jordan Newham of Aurora, Illinois, posted the top doubles score May 14, combining for a 1,417 total. Pate and Newham both were making their tournament debuts after finishing their collegiate careers at McKendree and Vanderbilt, respectively.

Pate led the way with games of 221, 264 and 289 for a 774 series, and Newham added 179, 246 and 218 for a 643 set.

051419KellyKulick_637USBC Hall of Famer Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, also made her move to the top of the leaderboard May 14, taking the lead in Diamond All-Events with 2,211.

Kulick rolled sets of 775 in doubles, 737 in singles and 699 in team to become the sixth player in tournament history to surpass the 2,200 mark for her nine-game total. Despite already being a USBC Hall of Famer, this would mark her first title at the Women's Championships.

053019Powerhouse_637The top score in Diamond Team was rolled May 30 by Powerhouse of Lakewood, Colorado, which averaged more than 230 as a team on the way to a 2,767 total.

Led by Sharon Powers' 785 series, Powerhouse posted games of 881, 943 and 943 to finish with the second-highest team score since the Women's Championships transitioned to four-player teams in 2014 (Bowlieve In A Cure finished with 2,819 in 2014 to win Diamond Team).

Powers was joined by two-time titlist Christine Gill (736 series), Michelle Maly (654) and Debbie McMullen (592).

A pair of bowlers also are poised to take home multiple titles at the 2019 event.

053019ChrisLafko_637Chris Lafko of Simi Valley, California, took the lead in Topaz Singles and Topaz All-Events on May 30, using the strength of a 530 series in singles to propel her to the top spot in all-events with 1,425.

Lafko rolled games of 163, 214 and 153 in singles and added sets of 468 in team and 427 in doubles. Topaz Singles and Topaz All-Events include bowlers with entering averages of 129 and below.

060819ElizabethMcGarey_637On June 8, Elizabeth McGarey of Warren, Michigan, followed a similar path, as her strong finish helped her into the lead in Amethyst Singles and Amethyst All-Events.

McGarey used games of 197, 146 and 222 to get to the singles lead with a 565 series, and she added 485 in team and 476 in doubles to finish with a 1,526 all-events score. Amethyst Singles and Amethyst All-Events feature bowlers with entering averages of 130-144.

A total of five bowlers rolled 300 games at the 2019 Women's Championships, matching the 2014 event in Reno, Nevada, for the most perfect games during a tournament. In all, 32 perfect games have been achieved at the tournament.

Amanda Flood of Brandon, Florida, was the first to roll 12 consecutive strikes at the 2019 event, doing so during her singles set on May 13. She finished with a 789 series, which placed her second in Diamond Singles.

USBC and PWBA Hall of Famer Jeanne Naccarato of Tacoma, Washington, also connected for 300 on May 13, rolling her second career 300 game at the Women's Championships during her team event. Naccarato became the first bowler to own multiple 300s at the tournament, after first achieving the feat at the 2014 event.

Kaidee Sutphin of Maitland, Florida, posted 300 during her singles set May 14, and USBC and PWBA Hall of Famer Leanne Hulsenberg of Pleasant View, Utah, added her name to the list during her doubles competition May 15.

Hulsenberg joined USBC Hall of Famer Dede Davidson as the only players in tournament history with both a 300 game and 800 series on the championship lanes. Hulsenberg's 800 series came at the 2007 event in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she rolled 804 during her team event.

06142019-BRENDA-CLIFFORD_637Brenda Clifford of Kahoka, Missouri, was the fifth player to achieve perfection at Northrock Lanes, rolling her first career 300 during her opening game of doubles June 14. Clifford also is leading Ruby All-Events with a 1,837 total. Ruby All-Events features bowlers with entering averages of 175-189.

Six bowlers were recognized this year for their dedication and longevity at the Women's Championships, joining the event's exclusive 50-Year Club.

This year's group included Marcie Baker of Fredericktown, Missouri; Karen Bostian of Hilton Head, South Carolina; Muriel Casey of Fairfax, Virginia; Marilyn Miller of Two Rivers, Wisconsin; Marie Neugebauer of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania; and Fran Smith of Marshalltown, Iowa.

In addition to the 100th edition of the Women's Championships, Northrock Lanes also hosted the USBC Queens from May 15-21. The Queens, a major championship on the Professional Women's Bowling Association Tour, welcomed nearly 200 of the top female bowlers from around the world to compete for the coveted tiara awarded to the winner.

Ukraine's Dasha Kovalova, who was a standout at nearby Wichita State, won the event for her first career PWBA Tour title, defeating Malaysia's Sin Li Jane in the title match, 226-216. The stepladder finals were broadcast live on CBS Sports Network.

The Women's Championships will head to Las Vegas' South Point Bowling Plaza for the 2020 event. The 60-lane facility also hosted the tournament in 2016.

Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Women's Championships page.