Connors, Dawson are at a loss for losses


August 22, 1993|By DON VITEK

Kay Connors and Mike Dawson have a foolproof plan for winning tenpin tournaments: never lose a match.

That is exactly what the two Harford County bowlers did in the Harford Lanes 32nd Invitational tenpin tournament at Aberdeen.

The event is scratch bowling against the cream of the Harford Lanes tenpin bowlers -- 108 bowlers who have thrown a minimum of 150 winter league games are invited to participate in two divisions, 54 men and 54 women. The double-elimination format guarantees everyone a chance to do well.

Last year, Kevin Lamb took the men's division for the third time, Barbara Blevins was the women's champion.

But this year Connors and Dawson locked everyone out by not losing.

Jim Beavers was runner-up for the men, and Debbie Walker took the second-place women's spot.

This is Connors' second title in the event.

"I've had a very good year," Connors said. "My high average last [winter] season was 196."

She bowled in three leagues at Harford Lanes -- the Harford Ladies Classic, the Thursday Early Birds and the Sunday Early Mixed. She owns a high series of 720 and a high game of 289.

"I finally bought a new bowling ball," Connors said. "I use that old Black Hammer for many a year but, at the end of June, I had a Teal Rhino fitted for the tournament.

"Marty Letcher [who runs the pro shop at Bel Air Bowl] drilled it for me. He's the only one I'll let fit me for a ball. And Marty's been helping me a little bit with my game. He just knows so much about equipment and how the ball should react."

And, of course, Letcher has a fine student in Connors. She started when she was 7 years old and never has stopped. The Forest Hill resident won the 1991 Maryland State Queens Tournament and just this summer she fired a 700 set in league play.

She has been a member of the Harford Women's Bowling Association for 10 years and is currently vice president of that organization.

"I feel that tenpin bowling does not get the credit it deserves, especially the junior bowlers," she said. "Our junior bowlers are our future and we, the bowlers, the local schools and the press need to encourage them as much as we can."

This the second year that Walker has been runner-up in the tournament.

"Yeah, runner-up again," she laughed, "But I don't feel bad about it. The competition was tough and I still bowled pretty good."

Walker, born and reared in Havre de Grace continues to live there with her sons, Kevin, 13, and J.W., 18, both bowlers. She bowled in two leagues at Harford Lanes last season, the Thursday Twilighters and the Friday Ladies Classic. And she works at the center part-time.

Bowling for about 15 years, Walker carries a 174 average with a high game of 257 and a high set of 638.

Currently she's using a 14-pound Sumo bowling ball that was fitted and drilled by Eddie Davis, the pro shop operator at Harford lanes.

"Eddie knows his stuff," she said, "And even though I bowl for fun I like to do the best I can and Eddie helps me do that."

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