Back from injuries, Kuhn is rounding into old form

February 07, 1993|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Staff Writer

Debbie Kuhn is back.

The 29-year-old Baltimore bowler, who set a Women's International Bowling Congress national tournament record in 1991, suffered two serious injuries last year and was unable to bowl.

This week at Country Club Lanes in Middle River, Kuhn rolled games of 258, 243, 232 and 204 for a four-game set of 937 in the Wednesday night Mixed Scratch League.

In December, doctors operated on her right knee to repair torn cartilage. The knee is not yet 100 percent, but she's feeling better and regaining her old form.

"It's going to be awhile," she said, adding that the knee still swells on her. "I'm bowling pretty good now, but it's not where it was."

At the top of her game, Kuhn rolled a 773 three-game set at the 1991 WIBC national tournament, a record. She also had a total events score -- singles, doubles and team -- of 2,036, another WIBC record.

Her feat put Kuhn in the national bowling spotlight for a time. Bowlers Journal ran an article and her picture, as did other bowling publications. Women Bowler magazine asked her to write a tip article.

But all that was in 1991.

Last year started well enough for Kuhn, who joined the Ladies Professional Bowlers Tour to compete as a professional. But somewhere along the way, she hurt her back.

"Somehow I tore the ligament in my back," she remembered. "I just kept going, though. When I got back [to Baltimore], it was terrible."

That was in March of 1992. The pain was so intense that she could barely hold a bowling ball during a local tournament. She was forced to withdraw, and spent eight weeks recovering.

By summer, Kuhn was back to bowling.

But in September, at another tournament, she did something to her right knee. She tried to bowl, but, again, the pain was too intense. She was forced to withdraw again.

Now, with the surgery behind her, Kuhn is hoping to regain her old form. She'll be competing in the WIBC national tournament again, but she has no plans for rejoining the pro tour.

"I don't think I'm going to go back out on tour," she said. "That's a pretty grueling lifestyle. I think I'm going to stay home and be a weekend warrior," bowling in regional tournaments.

Taking a shot at the pros

Next Sunday, Jeff Harding will drive his 1989 Monte Carlo west across the interstate highways, headed for Cleveland and a shot at the big time.

1% Packed in his trunk will be about

a dozen bowling balls -- "As many as I can fit in my car," he says, with a laugh -- and no expectations of becoming an instant bowling success.

"I think if I bowl well, I can cash," said Harding, 32. "I don't think I'm going out there to be a star. I'm not naive enough to think that."

Harding has bowled in PBA national tournaments before. Twice, he's won amateur qualifying tournaments to bowl in the Fair Lanes Open in Baltimore.

He knows it's a lot tougher to bowl with the pros than in regular leagues.

But he's no slouch, either. With 34 300 games to his credit, and a 216 average, the left-hander can roll some big scores. He plans to bowl the rest of the PBA winter tour, taking a break from his job with the family vending machine business.

Harding lives in Frederick, but drives to Baltimore each week to bowl in a league in Baltimore.

"See," he said. "That shows my dedication."

Big shooters

At Country Club Lanes this week, bowling in the Thursday Mixed League, Chris Holden shot a 300 game (221, 215, 300) for a 736 series. Brian Bever, bowling in the Baltimore Scratch Classic League, also bowled a 300 (189, 300, 276) for a 765 series.

Tim Pearson, bowling in the Starfires league, shot a 793 series. Ronelda DeShields, bowling in the Mixed Scratch Triples, shot a four-game 873 set (218, 243, 211, 210).

At Brunswick Perry Hall Lanes, Steve Mazziott just missed a 700 series in the Classic Mixed league on Tuesday, shooting a 684 (237, 203, 244).

Duckpin tournament results

Nick Kastanaras of Baltimore won first place and $900 in the weekly Amateur Duckpin Tour.

Bowling at Fair Lanes Westview, Kastanaras defeated Ron Katzen, also of Baltimore, in the championship round, 141-131. Katzen got $450 for second place.

Eugene Bradley of Temple Hills finished third and won $225. Art Boone of Ellicott City finished fourth and won $150, and Jim Miller, of Baltimore, finished fifth and won $100.

If you know an interesting bowler, or have an good bowling story to tell, please call Glenn Small at (410) 494-2944, or write to him care of The Sun, 1300 Bellona Ave., Lutherville, 21093. You also can fax letters or scores to (410) 494-2916. Please enclose a name and phone number for verification.

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