2011 Women's Championships wraps up

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Local star Michelle Feldman of Auburn, N.Y., headlined the list of champions at the 2011 USBC Women's Championships, which ended its 88-day run at the Oncenter Convention Center on July 3.

The 35-year-old right-hander claimed the one Women's Championships title that has eluded her during her career as she teamed with USBC Hall of Famer Aleta Sill of Livonia, Mich., to win this year's Scratch Doubles title with a 1,462 total.

Feldman, a 12-time Professional Women's Bowling Association champion and 2002 PWBA Player of the Year, also is the Women's Championships 2003 and 2009 Classic Singles champion, the 2003 Classic All-Events winner and a 1998 Classic Team champion.

"I didn't feel like I bowled that well, but I'm glad we were able to make it into the doubles lead," said Feldman, who led the pair with a 778 series, while Sill, her longtime mentor, added a 684 set. "It was pretty laid back and a lot of fun."

Another former PWBA standout, Dede Davidson of Buellton, Calif., also fared well in Syracuse this year as she became the first woman in the tournament's 92-year history with a 300 game and 800 series on the championship lanes.

The 44-year-old left-hander rolled games of 279, 268 and 253 for 800 on the nose during her team event and picked up right where she left off the next day in doubles and singles. She rolled one of this year's three perfect games on the way to a 746 doubles series and added 653 in singles for a Scratch All-Events-winning 2,199 total.

"I was pretty oblivious while bowling until everyone started clapping," Davidson said. "Then, I realized they were looking at the possibility of my shooting an 800. I started to get nervous around the 36th ball, but I had a good look and the right ball. What was odd, though, is that I took down the remaining pins with a Brooklyn strike, and I never do that. I like to think it was due to my mom, Lori Davidson, looking over me and helping me carry that. She died suddenly in March, and both of my parents have been very positive influences in this sport."

Erin Lenahan of Lincoln, Calif., and Kimberly Wiget of Lafayette, La., rolled the year's other 300s, while Suzy Minino of Omaha, Neb., put together games of 268, 279 and 259 for an 806 scratch doubles series and teamed with Trish Manna, also of Omaha, to take home the Diamond Doubles title with a 1,532 handicap effort.

There also were three 299s and one 298 at the Oncenter Convention Center this year.

Team USA member Shannon O'Keefe of Arlington, Texas, led Shootin' Nines of Indianapolis to the Scratch Team title with a 3,305 total, while Eagles Edge Pro Shop, of Des Plaines, Ill., grabbed the top spot in Diamond Team with 3,416. The effort included a with 3,224 scratch total and 64 pins handicap per game.

O'Keefe set the pace for Shootin' Nines with a 766 series and was followed by Keli Callahan (707), Brenda Mack (647), Amanda Beck (599) and Jenifer Larson (586). Joey Biondo led Eagles Edge Pro Shop with a 678 series and was joined by Tracy Luncsford (663), Keri Caduto (662), Jonquay Armon (614) and Tina Becke (607).

"We are very happy to have captured the Scratch Team title and win on pure score," said Mack, who also helped her team to second place in Diamond Team with a 3,347 handicap total. "Our goal has not always been to recruit the best bowlers necessarily, but to have fun and enjoy each other. If we bowl well on top of that, it's great, but our first plan is to have fun and just reconnect with each other."

Shannon Pluhowsky of Kettering, Ohio, topped the Scratch Singles standings with a 763 series, which also helped her to a second-place finish in Scratch All-Events.

"It's been a long wait for me, and it's really kind of surprising that for all the people who bowled in this event, I won singles," said Pluhowsky, a 28-year-old left-hander. "It's also my first title since being part of the winning team in 2007."

Diamond Singles honors went to Brittany Signor of Watertown, N.Y. She posted a 704 scratch series, and an additional 34 pins of handicap per game helped her to an 806 total.

Elizabeth HublerRike of Grand Rapids, Mich., shined in Diamond All-Events with a 2,270 total. The 34-year-old right-hander bowled well over her 181 average and had 660 in doubles, 634 in singles and 625 in team for a 1,919 scratch all-events total. An additional 39 pins of handicap per game helped her into the lead.

The Diamond Division includes bowlers with averages of 180 and above. Handicap is 100 percent of 220.

The Ruby Division includes bowlers with averages between 150 and 179. Handicap is 100 percent of 180.

The Sapphire Division includes bowlers with averages of 149 and below. Handicap is 100 percent of 150.

The 2011 event marked the second time in the tournament's 92-year history that is was held in an arena setting. This time, 48 lanes, spectator seating, offices, a squad room and vendor space were built inside the Oncenter for the nearly 6,000 five-player teams to compete in team, doubles and singles.

Complete standings and prizes for the 2011 event can be found at BOWL.com/usbcwomenschamp, but everything is unofficial until a final verification is made.

Also making headlines at the 2011 Women's Championships were participation leaders Emma Hendrickson of Morris Plains, N.J., and Mini Tvaska of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Hendrickson, a 102-year-old bowling sensation, extended her own record as the tournament's oldest participant as she competed at the Women's Championships for the 52nd consecutive time.

Tvaska, 93, has competed in more Women's Championships than any bowler and made her 65th consecutive appearance. Her tournament career began at the 1947 event in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Two other tournaments also graced the championship lanes at the Oncenter Convention Center. The USBC Queens and USBC Senior Queens were held in Salt City during April.

The 2012 Women's Championships is scheduled to run from April 14 through July 7 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.

Sponsors for the 2011 USBC Women's Championships sponsors include Turning Stone Resort and Casino, official brackets sponsor, Humana, official registration sponsor, Miller Lite and Molson Canadian, official beer sponsors. Supporting sponsors include Storm Bowling Products, Nationwide Insurance, The Oncenter, Syracuse Convention and Visitors Bureau, Caz Limo & Tours, Kegel, official lane maintenance provider, US Steltronic, official scoring system, and Brunswick, official lane provider.