Spring Hill sends 20 to amateur championships

A delegation of local bowlers heads to the U.S. Bowling Congress Open Championships.

By Derek LaRiviere, Times Correspondent
Published May 25, 2007

Each season, Spring Hill sends a delegation of local bowlers to the U.S. Bowling Congress Open Championships.

The tournament, which runs from February to June, welcomes amateur competitors from all around the country to match up on a large stage. This season, the event takes place at the National Bowling Center in Reno, Nev. The entrants compete in three separate events: singles, doubles and team.

The delegation this year includes 20 bowlers from Spring Hill Lanes: Anita Hearl, Jimmy Hearl, Doug Hearl, Chris Bernhardt Sr., Chris Bernhardt Jr., Derek LaRiviere, Scott Reilly, Jim Reilly, Mary Reilly, Todd Brower, Diane Brusati, Patty Mehl, Marilyn Magid, Steve Roslo, Steve Peck, Rosanne Regan, Dennis Regan, Dom Risola, Carol Risola and Nick Catroppo.

The trip is planned more than a year in advance of the actual event. On Memorial Day weekend, the teams will set off for the tournament, which rotates to a different location every season; next year's championships is set to be in Albuquerque, N.M., and the 2009 tournament will be held in Las Vegas. More than 16, 000 teams entered this year's event, the most in tournament history.

The 78-lane bowling center in Reno features a 40-foot oil pattern that many house bowlers are not accustomed to competing on. Reno last hosted the event in 2004 and will host again in 2010 and 2013. The town is considered the diamond city of host choices. This will be the eighth time Reno will host, breaking a tie for the most all time among itself, Buffalo, N.Y., and Toledo, Ohio.

STRONG FINISH FOR OLIVER: Vic Oliver, who concluded his best season on the lanes, did so in style on the final night of the Friday Early Mariners League at Mariner Lanes.

Leading all reported county scores with a 290 game last week, Oliver totaled a 736 series to wrap up his most successful efforts on the lanes. His accomplishments this season include two perfect games, one 800 series, three 299 games and 11 strikes in a row in a single game on four different occasions.

His highest average this season was a 221 during the Tuesday Singles League at Mariner over the course of 145 games. The mark was the best since a 221 he had during the Trio Scratch League at Lane-Glo Lanes in New Port Richey in 2001.

There might be something to owning a pro shop at Mariner Lanes. Jason Mahr, who co-owns Vic & Jay's Pro Shop at the center, broke his own county record for high-sanctioned average in a season this year. In 134 games, Mahr averaged a 244 while competing in the Tuesday Singles League, easily outdistancing his previous mark of 241 set in 2001.