A double triumph for Rothman Bowling

November 22, 1992|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Staff Writer

There's not a lot of money in duckpins. Ask any professional duckpin bowler. He or she will tell you they compete more for the fun and camaraderie than for the money.

Take Anita Rothman and John Crunkleton, professional duckpin bowlers who have been doubles partners for about 14 years. Last weekend at Fair Lanes Westview, they won the Harry Dowda Mixed Doubles Tournament. They split the $800 first-prize check.

The money was nice, but there's more to it than that.

The pair, who have won many tournaments, hadn't won in more than five years. They're 45 years old -- not ancient by any means, but wondering when they would win again.

Rothman is an eighth-grade math teacher from Carney. She's in the National Duckpin Hall of Fame, has been a nationally ranked, top-10 women's duckpin bowler for 20 years and has been ranked No. 1 in Baltimore eight or nine times.

She holds the city record for the best duckpin set by a woman, a 583 three-game set she rolled in 1984.

But she hadn't bowled a 200 game in two years.

And last year, she learned she had cancer.

During a routine exam, doctors discovered breast cancer and advised that she have surgery, which she did last fall. She spent the winter recovering and couldn't bowl until February. There was a lot of pain at first when she did start bowling again.

"For a long time," said Crunkleton, the owner of the 12-lane Edgemere Bowl, "every time she threw the ball, it hurt her. The way she has fought back is unbelievable."

Part of what helped her recovery, Rothman believes, has been her willingness to talk about the cancer.

"Fortunately," she said, "it was discovered early."

Her experience has encouraged friends to get breast exams, and that makes her feel good.

"If I've helped other women to go get a mammogram, that's important," she said. "Then maybe I'm helping somebody else find out in time."

L That made their tournament victory Sunday that much sweeter.

Not only did they bowl well and win a little cash, but Rothman shot her first 200 game in several years, a 214 in the fourth game.

And they set a world record for a mixed-doubles team, with 1,658 total pins over five games, beating the old record held by Joe and Cheryl Holden of Catonsville, who had bowled a 1,645 in January 1989.

The Rothman-Crunkleton record is unofficial until a lane inspector goes over the lanes to make sure they were in proper shape.

"We weren't shooting for the world record or the money," said Crunkleton. "We were just shooting for the win."

The second-place team of Mary Beth Morel and Eddie Darling finished more than 100 pins behind Rothman and Crunkleton with a 1,540 combined set. They split $400 for second place.

Winning by more than 100 pins in a duckpin tournament is "like lapping the whole field at the Daytona 500," said Crunkleton.

Country Club hotshots

At Country Club lanes, Earl Biscotti, bowling in the Mixed Scratch Triples League, shot a perfect 300 game.

In the Baltimore Classic Scratch League, Joseph Barnhart rolled a 298, Oscar Stinnett bowled a 290, Ken Dixon rolled a 289 and Jerry Miller bowled a 280. Dixon had high set with a 771 (238, 244, 289.)

Big sets in Towson

At Towson Fair Lanes, Richard White bowled a 699 set (227, 184, 288) in the Wednesday Night Men's League, and Joe Wade shot a 675 (230, 234, 211) in the Micro Tel Spoilers League.

Watching the pins fall

Mary Moore, who bowls in the CoffeeTimers duckpin league '' at Fair Lanes Perring Parkway, shot 100 pins over her average for a three-game set Nov. 3 with games of 140, 100 and 140. She

won a watch for the accomplishment.


If you know an interesting bowler, or have an good bowling story tell, please call Glenn Small at (410) 296-0080, or write to him care of The Baltimore Sun, 401 Washington Ave., Towson, Md. 21204. You also can fax letters or scores to (410) 823-1439. Please enclose a name and phone number for verification.

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