Kendra Cameron and Chris Usher just missed the national scholarship finals in the National Junior Bowling Championship Tournament that took place this past summer in Indianapolis.
Cameron, a freshman at Essex Community College, lives in Gambrills with her parents, Ed and Sue. She finished fifth in the tournament.
This is the third time that Cameron has been in the top 20 of thenational tournament. In 1988 she finished fifth in the girls handicap division, and in 1990 she was 19th, her first try at the scratch division. This year she missed the scholarship stepladder finals by 15 pins.
Usher, also of Gambrills, lives with his parents, Ann and Bill. He attends Arundel High School and bowls at Crofton Centre. He just started bowling two years ago and has progressed rapidly.
Ushertopped the tournament with the highest four-game handicap block, 1,006 pins. His scratch scores were 168, 235, 176 and 219.
Cameron and Usher came very close to winning the whole thing this year in Indianapolis but came up just a little short. But they're still the 1991 Maryland champs and should win a lot more tournaments.
Esther Grimshaw, assistant manager at Crofton Centre in Crofton, has been atthe center since it opened in November 1978. But she was a bowler long before that date.
"There're really no changes that I'd like to see take place in bowling," said Grimshaw, who bowls in four leagues,all at the Crofton center. "I've seen a lot of changes take place inbowling over the past 25 years, but most of those changes were in equipment and lane surfaces.
"The game has remained pretty much the same. You still have to throw a ball and knock down pins."
One of the changes that she has seen took place in April 1990 when the Crofton Centre added 16 lanes to become a 48-lane house.
Of course, everyone knows how much equipment has changed. It would fill this page just to list the names of all the bowling balls that are now available.
When Grimshaw started bowling, you carried one bowling ball intothe center, now it's two. Sometimes three and four aren't that rare.
And all the lanes were maple and pine construction. Now it's not unusual to find synthetic lanes, such as the ones at Crofton Centre.
"One of the things that I've noticed change over the years," said Grimshaw, "is that I'm seeing more and more seniors than I used to see. Look on the lanes right now. It's a Friday afternoon, and there are 18 lanes with seniors bowling.
"On Tuesday, there's 30 lanes. Wednesday there's another six lanes with seniors bowling. A few years ago you just didn't see that. I have noticed that I see less of the young mothers now, but I thinkthat's because of so many mothers workingworking outside the house now."
What's the biggest change that Grimshaw has seen over the years?
"Automatic scoring," she said. "That made the game a lot more enjoyable for a lot more people. Even theones who disliked the change at first are now all for it."
This weekend, the National Amateur Bowlers Inc. will play host to a tournament at Crofton Bowling Centre. This is a joint ABC/WIBC-sanctioned tournament for Washington and Baltimore bowlers.
The second annual Harvest Mixed Doubles event will be on Oct. 19, 20, 26 and 27 at Bowl America Glen Burnie. It's sponsored by the Baltimore Bowling Council, and proceeds will benefit the B.V. L. Fund for Hospitalized Veterans.
The event is ABC/WIBC sponsored, and first place is a guaranteed $500.
Donald G. Vitek's Bowling column appears every Thursday in the Anne Arundel County Sun. Bowlers are urged to give Don a call with scores and tidbits at 247-0850.