160 come to Fair Lanes Ritchie to compete in NABI tournament


August 27, 1993|By DON VITEK

The National Amateur Bowlers Inc. tournament rolled into Fair Lanes Ritchie over the weekend of Aug. 14-15. One hundred and sixty tenpin bowlers drawn from the mid-Atlantic region competed for a prize fund of more than $4,000.

Steve Grossnickle of Frederick won the $1,000 first prize.

Mike Clifton, a Navy enlisted man, originally from Baltimore, now stationed at the naval base in Philadelphia, picked up the second-place check for $500.

Tim Prevatt, a local bowler, was third and earned $250. Glenda Jacoby of Glen Burnie finished fourth and received $125. At the end of the stepladder finals was Steve Crouch of Centerville, Va., who won $100.

"It was a pretty nice turnout for this time of the year," said Joe Doctor, director of the tournament. "You can't really expect a larger field than this in the middle of August in Maryland when everyone seems to be thinking of outdoor activities. I know at the end of the month we'll draw a much larger field."

Grossnickle does his league bowling at Terrace Lanes in Frederick -- Wednesday in the Valley League and Friday in the Owls League.

"I guess I've been bowling in NABI for about four or five years," he said. "Before this tournament I've finished second twice and third once. It was nice to finally crack the winner circle."

Bowling for about 14 years and with an average of 189, Grossnickle has fired high games of 286 and 287.

"It seems like I can get the first 10 strikes," he said. "But I can't seem to get the next two I need for the 300. This week I going to Fred Borden's bowling camp in Akron to see if I can't learn enough to throw that 300 game. After winning the NABI tournament some of the guys were kidding me, said that now I could cancel the school but I'm going anyway!"

In the semifinals Grossnickle fired a 244 and a 245.

"But in the [stepladder finals] I couldn't seem to throw any strikes at all," he said.

It didn't matter, because he made all of his spare shots while his opponent, Clifton, missed three.

Clifton said, "That's what did it, I missed my spares and he made his. I don't usually miss spares but it was late and the oil was carrying down the lanes and skidded past a couple I should have made."

With a 202 average in league play at the Naval lanes in Philadelphia, Clifton usually doesn't miss many spare shots.

"Being a native of Baltimore I was raised on duckpins, started bowling at the Lafayette Lanes when I was kid," he said. "When I joined the Navy I had to bowl tenpins. They sure didn't have duckpins."

Clifton, who has a high series of 751 and a high game of 297, won NABI tournaments in 1990 and 1991.

Prevatt is having a tough time winning a NABI tournament. Bowling for just a year and a half, he's averaging in the 160s. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday he bowls at Brunswick Normandy.

This was the second time that he's made the finals in a NABI tournament. He finished fifth at Brunswick Columbia in June.

Jacoby, a Department of Defense employee stationed at Fort Meade, bowls in the Monday mixed league there and Thursday and Saturday at Fair Lanes Ritchie.

She maintains a 174 average with a high game of 257, a high series of 616.

"I've been in a terrible slump lately," she said. "But now I think I'm finally coming out of it. I've been concentrating on keeping my arm straight, getting the ball out on the lane and keeping my hand under the ball when I release it.

"I feel like I'm getting better. I probably could have finished better at Ritchie if the lanes hadn't started to dry out. My ball started hooking very early in the last game."

* Don Vitek's column is moving to Sundays. His next column will appear Sunday, Sept. 5.

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