2021 USBC Senior Championships wraps up in Las Vegas area

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For the second consecutive week, the Las Vegas area was bustling with the nation's best bowlers over the age of 50 for the United States Bowling Congress Senior Championships.

A dozen champions across two divisions and six age categories emerged Friday from a field of 180 competitors, representing 27 states.

All competition for the 2021 edition of the event took place at Sunset Station's Strike Zone, which played host to a pandemic-postponed 2020 USBC Senior Championships last week.

Participants at the 2021 Senior Championships qualified for the national event through tournaments in their home states.

The two divisions at the Senior Championships are Mixed and Women's, and each has six age classifications - 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75 and above.

The qualifying portion of the national event included a pair of three-game qualifying sets over two days (Wednesday and Thursday) to determine the six players from each division who competed in Friday's medal round. The six qualifiers in each division were determined by total pinfall, including handicap.

Pinfall was dropped for the medal round, but bowlers were awarded bonus pins based on their qualifying positions (50 bonus pins for first, 40 pins for second, etc.).

In the Women's division, all of the champions were able to improve on their qualifying positions to claim titles, with two No. 2 seeds, three No. 4 seeds and a No. 5 qualifier earning victories.

A pair of bowlers from Utah, Julie Staheli of Payson and Vickie DeRose of Bountiful, will be the buzz of the Beehive State after winning the 60-64 and 70-74 categories, respectively.

Other winners in the Women's division include Susan Piraro-Anderson of Tulsa, Oklahoma (50-54), Hollie Emo of Jamestown, North Dakota (55-59), Patricia Brown of Newton, North Carolina (65-69), and Sherlinda Brown of St. Paul, Kansas (75+).

In the Mixed division, three top seeds maintained their momentum and took home their respective titles.

Robert Matty of Camp, Arkansas, was dominant in the 70-74 category, using a 743 scratch set in his second qualifying block to catapult to the top of the standings. The bonus pins he earned as the top qualifier help him to a nine-pin victory.

David Johnson of Fallon, Nevada, had the opposite experience, but the same result, as he won the 75+ title.

Johnson was the qualifying leader by just 19 pins, but he turned on the afterburners in the medal round. His 762 total, which included handicap and bonus pins, was high by 89 pins.

David Koch of Grafton, Wisconsin, also put up some big numbers to top the 65-69 standings. His 755 medal-round total was enough for the win by more than 40 pins.

The other winners in the Mixed Division included Steve Gaydos of Baltimore (50-54), Kalani Kepaa of Madras, Oregon (55-59), and Mike Mach of Milbank, South Dakota (60-64).

Each winner took home between $500-$525 from a total prize fund of nearly $20,000.