Crofton tournament draws big turnout


June 18, 1993

DON VITEK — Over Memorial Day weekend a first in amateur tournament bowling took place. Over four days, 995 tenpin bowlers gathered at Crofton Bowling Centre to carve up $33,777 at the NABI event.

"Even I was astonished," said Joe Doctor, tournament director. "And I expected a large turnout but I've never seen anything like this and I've been around the game all my life."

Just as surprising as the crowd was the fact that the person placing 100th in the tournament was still paid $100.

Bob Quental of Hunt Valley took first place and picked up a check for $3,000.

Adams Rollan and May Gerdine, both from Delaware, were second and third, respectively. Jimmy Wilson of Landover Hills was fourth, and Dotty Sheldon of Crofton cashed the fifth spot for $600.

"I started bowling duckpins when I was a kid," Quental said. "Then I switched to tenpins and bowled them for a long while, then laid off for about 10 years. I started back with tenpins six or seven years ago."

He bowls in two leagues -- the Wednesday Night Out league at Fair lanes Dundalk and a Sunday league at Crown Brunswick.

With a 172 average he's a typical NABI bowler. Throwing a 16-pound Blue Hammer, he has a 300 game to his credit and has a 685 three-game series.

"I was struggling all the time [in the tournament]," Quental said. "In the semifinals, for example, I didn't have a strike until the last frame. But I made a bunch of spares."

Shelton didn't have far to travel to bowl in the tournament. The Crofton resident, originally from Connecticut, bowls in two leagues at the Crofton lanes -- the Tuesday Coors Scratch and the Sunday Night Fever. For 3 1/2 years she has worked the control counter at the center.

A 179-average bowler, she has a 279 high game. She fired her career high 666 series in the semifinals of the tournament to be top-seeded of the 170-plus qualifiers.

"Being top-seeded after the best series I ever had did make me a little nervous," she said.

Coming back from injury

Dave Shears Jr. bowls duckpins. And he's serious enough about the game to have a bowling tattoo on his forearm.

OC The Baltimore resident currently is averaging 131 at Fair Lanes

Southwest, down from his usual 137.

"Since I had my knee operated on in February I've had a little trouble throwing the ball as hard as I usually do," he said. "But the knee's feeling a lot better and that's the main reason that I'm bowling better right now."

Bowling better means that on June 6 in the Fair Lanes Southwest center In-House Doubles tournament he finished second with his partner, Tina Petty, to earn them $150.

Ron Whitacre and Ron Fink teamed up to toss a 943 series and take the first-place prize of $350.

Just two days after the tournament Shears' knee was feeling pretty good. In the Tuesday Mixed Quada league at Southwest he fired games of 158, 196 and 165 for a superb 519 series.

Big tournament in Crofton

The 4th of July weekend offers an opportunity to bowl in what may well be the largest amateur tournament ever in Maryland.

Coming on the heels of the phenomenally successful Memorial Day weekend tournament at Crofton Bowling Centre, the Firecracker Open at the same house will be contested July 2-5 with the same guaranteed pay-off -- $7,500 with a $3,000 first prize.

Information: (410) 721-2401.

During the summer, Don Vitek's bowling column will appear every Friday, instead of Sunday.

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