The results of the National Junior Bowling Championships 1992 State Finals have been tabulated, and the winners in Howard County are Jennifer Geilfuss, Kerry Simms, Michael Blair and Laura Barnes.
Jennifer is 6 years old and lives in Sykesville with her mother, Judy Geilfuss, and bowls in the Saturday morning youth league at Brunswick Normandy.
"She's been bowling practically her whole life," Judy said, "but she's also active in basketball, jazz dancing, soccer and snow skiing. All the kids in the family bowl."
Jennifer toppled 259 pins in the tournament at Crofton Bowling Centre on April 12. She added 396 handicapped pins for a total of 655 and first place in the Grade 2 and Under Girls Division of the State Finals.
Kerry, 9, lives in Elkridge with his parents, Rhea and Tommy Simms. He bowls at Brunswick Columbia in the Saturday YABA leagues. He's a fourth-grader at Stevens Forest Elementary School and "plays a little soccer".
Mostly, he bowls. Kerry has a 113 average with a high game of 169 and a high series of 424, throwing a 10-pound Lite-Dot bowling ball. He's been bowling since he was 4 and says,"My daddy coaches me some."
On the otherhand, Tommy, his dad, says, "Kerry will ask me to go bowling with him just for the practice."
It paid off. Bowling in the Grades 3 to 5 Boys Division, Kerry put together a total of 621, 395 scratch and 226 handicap pins to take first place in the state finals.
Michael placed forth in the Grades 2 and Under Boys Division with a scratch series of 388 and a handicap of 256 pins for a total of 644.
Michael bowls at Brunswick Normandy on Saturday mornings and has an averageof 109, high series of 399 and a high game of 153 that was thrown inthe tournament.
He's 8 and in the second grade at Timbergrove Elementary School.
Mike insists that he doesn't "really get nervous in tournaments, maybe just a little." He missed winning his division by just 21 pins.
"I moved my spot on the approach, and that helped my game a lot," Michael said. He makes his home in Owings Mills with parents, Mike Sr. and Tami.
Laura, 12, lives in Ellicott City withher parents, Jane and Fred Barnes. She attends Mayfield Woods MiddleSchool, where she's in the sixth grade. Laura averages 108, and her mother, Jane, says, she just started bowling again last fall.
It didn't take her long to hit her stride in the Grades 6 to 8 Girls Division. Laura's total of 624, consisting of 376 scratch and 248 handicap pins, held up for second place.
Dave Mandelson bowls at Brunswick Normandy and Kings Point Randallstown.
"It's Normandy lanesthat I really like," Dave said, "I've been bowling at Normandy sinceI was 12 years old. I'm glad that it was Normandy where I finally shot a 300 game."
That was Dave's first 300 game, the second game ofhis series in the Tuesday night Westinghouse league; the first game was 227, the third game a powerful 266 for a 793 series that tied hiscareer-high series.
"That's twice I've just missed having an 800-set," Dave said, "Both times an eight-pin stood at a crucial time andcost me that 800."
That pesky eight-pin, the only true tap for a right-handed bowler, stood in the sixth frame of the last game of hisApril 7 series.
Mandelson, 30, a sales coordinator for Royal Quality Food, has pushed his average to 208. He and his wife, Robin, havemoved just recently from Ellicott City to Eldersburg.
The 300 game, long overdue, is just an indication of Dave's continuing mastery of the bowling game.
Last month in the 40th Annual Greater Baltimore Bowling Association tournament in Glen Burnie, against the top bowlers in the area, Dave finished fifth in the All-Events. Dave was a member of the Howard County Community College bowling team that won the1980 College Invitational Tournament.
He's no stranger to winningand doesn't mind switching equipment to do it.
"I've always used a Hammer bowling ball," Dave said. "But I switched to a Red Rhino in the second frame of the 300 game because the Hammer didn't feel exactly right."
Worked great, a 300 game and almost an 800 series. Wantto try to get that Red Rhino away from him?
Pete Reichardt just keeps getting better with age.
Pete, who lives in Ellicott City, does his bowling at Brunswick Normandy. It's been almost 20 years since Pete began bowling -- he was 62 when he took up the sport.
Since that time he's pumped up his average to 167 in the Club 55 League. He still uses a 16-pound bowling ball.
"Pete bowls every day," Terry McDonald of Normandy Lanes said. "If we're open, Pete's here."
Last month, on St Patrick's Day, Pete shot games of 235, 236 and 210 for an awesome 681 series.
"I'm getting my hand in back of ballmore when I release it," Pete said, "I'm getting more lift and better scores."
Are you bowlers listening? Keep your hand in back of ball on your release.