Johansen notches win in Classic

April 04, 1993|By DON VITEK

More than 100 of the best women duckpin bowlers in the nation gathered at Fair Lanes Southwest on March 20-21 for the 13th annual Ladies All Star Classic tournament.

When the last pin had fallen, Linda Johansen topped the field and won $2,000.

After qualifying for the final 24 with a record-setting 1,172 for seven games (the 167 average for the seven games topped Becky Nusbaum's old figure of 1,105), Johansen qualified for the second seed in the stepladder finals after match play on Sunday morning.

The five finalists -- Diane Ludwig, Betty Caputo, Sharon Sachs, Mary Durbin-Ritter and Johansen -- made up an all-Maryland lineup.

Johansen, a Baltimore native, has been bowling for 30 of her 33 years. Last year, she was ranked ninth nationally with a 138 average. She has won the Barger Open, the Middlesex Doubles, Chesapeake Open, Lady Baltimore tournament and the Good Neighbor twice, and has been ranked among the top 10 women bowlers in Baltimore for 12 years.

In the final game, Johansen opened with a spare, spare and strike in the first three frames against Durbin-Ritter of Hyattsville and never let up. Johansen beat Durbin-Ritter, 169-125.

When asked to comment on her victory, she laughed and said, "Now I'll be able to pay for the water heater that burst last night at home."

Sachs faced Johansen in the semifinal game and lost, 125-153.

Ranked fourth in the nation last year with a 140 average, Sachs lives in Baltimore and has been bowling since she was 6.

"I never had a bad break on either day in the All Star Classic until that game with Linda [Johansen], then it was nothing but chops and splits," Sachs said.

Sachs met Caputo in the second game of the finals and won, 174-132.

Caputo won the All-Star Classic in 1985 and was a champion in the Pro Tour last year.

The Pasadena resident is averaging 136 in the Prince George's majors.

"I started with four spares in the first six frames," Caputo said. "But Sachs was burning up the lanes. She filled all of the first six frames, including a double-header, and I was never able to catch her."

In the first game, Caputo defeated Ludwig, 158-120.

Last year, Ludwig won the Barger Open and the Harry Dowda mixed doubles events. She also was ranked 14th in the nation with a 136. Bowling since 1972, the Owings Mills resident is averaging 143.

"It was just one of those games," said Ludwig. "It was only the second time I made the finals in the All Star and I was a little nervous. I just wasn't getting the ball out against Betty the way I should have."

Youth bowlers hit it big

Two youth bowlers at Bowl America Odenton's YABA Saturday league -- one a veteran at age 17; the other, 6 years old, and just beginning in tenpins, have posted some fine figures.

Robby Beall, who lives in Odenton, is a senior at Arundel High and carries a 158 average.

On March 20, he shot games of 239, 205 and 258 for a 702 series. The 258 game and the series are career highs.

"I was using the new Burgundy Hammer [bowling ball] that I've only had for a month," Beall said. "It's working great, and I am trying to bowl at least every other day."

Matthew Meehan lives in Severn and is in the first grade at Jessup Elementary School. Matthew has adjusted quickly to tenpins after bowling for the first time last summer. The 50-pound youngster swings an 8-pound ball for a Bantam Boys Division league-leading 103 average. His high game is 155, high series is 383.

But stardom may lie with another sport.

He has just finished leading the Jessup Provinces Youth Organization basketball team to an undefeated season. On March 22 and 23, at Jessup Elementary School, Matthew made 16 of 28 shots in the first game and 16 of 27 in the second game. He's averaging 21.8 points.

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