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Several competitors get on a roll in YABA


© St. Petersburg Times, published March 4, 2001

Five competitors each won two titles as the annual Greater Pinellas Young American Bowling Alliance Championship Tournament ended last Sunday at Largo's Twedt's Lanes.

Matt Meredeth of Sunrise Lanes captured the A Division singles championship with a 682 series and teamed with Ryan Shumar to win the doubles crown with a 1,392 pinfall. There were no A Division team entries.

Chris Ellis and Lucas Vachon steered the Fireballs of Ten Pin Lanes to a team victory in the D Division with a 2,767 total, then joined forces to win the doubles with a 1,438 pinfall.

Ten Pin No. 2 finished second in the team competition with a 2,703. Joshua Riggs, Sunshine Bowl, won the singles crown in the D Division with a 739 series.

Chad Whalen of AMF Kenneth City Lanes took the C Division singles with an 807 series. He captured the all-events title with a 2,217 total, good for $250 in college scholarship money.

Joel Wise was on the Twedt's Lanes Finest, which won the E Division team championship with a 2,661, and took the singles with a 785 series.

The Strikers from Sunshine Bowl captured the C Division title with a 2,724. Darin Finley, Greg Ickes, Russell Brock and Shawn Goucher made up the squad.

Matt and Peter Hamilton, AMF Kenneth City Lanes, won the division's doubles with a 1,440.

James Michael, Liberty Lanes, grabbed the B Division singles crown with a 741 series, and Tamara Gillispie and Greg Campbell of AMF Kenneth City Lanes took the doubles with a 1,446 total.

Kris Lambert with a 1,961, Dana Dutrow with a 1,691 and Aimee Coltman with a 2,062 were the other all-events winners, each earning $250 in scholarship money.

FUNDRAISER SET: The second annual Richard Baker Wheelchair Fundraiser is scheduled for March 11 at Seminole Lanes. The proceeds will go to the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

No wheelchair bowlers will compete. Instead, able-bodied bowlers will compete from wheelchairs in what always is fun for everyone.

High rollers often end up 100 pins or more below their averages, and low-average bowlers just throw up their hands in disgust. The idea was initiated by wheelchair bowler Jim Sullivan at Largo Lanes more than 10 years ago.

The entry fee is $25 per person for four-person teams, and applications and information are available at the house desk. The fun begins at 1 p.m., and trophies will be awarded.

The late Richard Baker was a long-time wheelchair bowler and held board positions in the American Wheelchair Bowling Association and local associations.

NORRIS DIES: Bowling legend Joe Norris, 93, died Monday of pneumonia at his San Diego home.

Norris was regarded as one of the best team bowlers in history and organized the first of the famous "beer" teams, Stroh's Bohemian, in 1933. His squads won three ABC Tournament titles and five national match game championships.

Norris was a member of the ABC Hall of Fame and eight other state Halls. He once was the oldest to roll a 300 game, and he bowled exhibition in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin and in the Seoul, Korea, Games.

Norris competed in his first ABC Tournament in 1926 and missed just one because of a health problem. He was scheduled to compete in his record 72nd ABC event.

DOMBROWSKI WINS: Largo's Ron Dombrowski captured the Poor Boy Tournament and Xavier Pullara won the Gary Hampshire Senior event at Largo Lanes last weekend.

Pullara fired a 300 game to break open an even match with Bob Francis.

The center will play host to the Seminole Relay for Life benefit for the Suncoast Hospital and the American Cancer Society on Saturday at 7 p.m.

AROUND THE LANES: Bill Hicks fired an 802, Mike Crosby managed a 299-786 and Mitch Ray shot a 299-726 at Seminole Lanes. ... Walt Coddington rolled a 300-794 at Rainbow Lanes. ... Richard Miller had a 300-714 and Andy Diaczyk a 300-727 at AMF Kenneth City Lanes. ... Bob Hafer compiled a 300-763 at Countryside Lanes. ... Robert Morison recorded a 300 game at Ten Pin Lanes. ... Al Lewis, Ken Kokemohr and Bob Delana logged 300s at Liberty Lanes, and Mike Pittman, Corbie Wilson, Ray Verrochio and Paul Victory each had a 299. ... The Clearwater Women's Association Championship Tournament opened this weekend and ends March 11 at Dunedin Lanes. ... The St. Petersburg Women's Association City Championship opens Saturday and continues for two weekends at AMF Kenneth City Lanes. ... Mike Fick won singles, doubles and all-events titles in the Upper Pinellas Junior Association's Tournament of Champions last week.

- Phil Gulick can be reached at or

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