Once a reluctant bowler, Preston now in 4 leagues

BOWLING

November 14, 1993|By DON VITEK

Four years ago a neighbor talked Wendie Preston of Edgewood into going into a bowling center.

"I mean really talked me into it. I didn't want any part of a bowling alley," she said.

Four years later Preston is bowling in four leagues -- Monday morning and afternoon, Wednesday morning's Play Girl and the Thursday Pro Rhino leagues -- at Fair Lanes Edgemere, the same center she was reluctant to enter.

The Detroit native is holding a 190 average this season, up dramatically from last year.

"Practice, that's it," Preston said. "I was in the center every day throwing at least 16 games for two years. I just got completely hooked on tenpins and I just made up my mind that I was going to carry a decent average."

Throwing a 15-pound ball, either a Blue Hammer or a Purple Rhino, she has a career-high series of 672.

Last July, subbing in a Friday league at Edgewood, she broke the women's house record for a single game when she pounded out a superb 279 game.

"It could have been a 300, easy," she said. "I had eight [strikes] in a row, and in the ninth frame I threw a pretty good ball but the four-pin stood. It was shaking but it stood."

She picked up the single-pin spare and fired three more strikes to close out the game, just a "shaking" single pin from a perfect game.

Jones, Kott win tournament

Bel Air Bowl played host to a Senior No-Tap Tournament that drew 112 entries in two divisions -- Division I for ages 55 to 64 and Division II for ages 65 and up.

The unofficial winners were Bentley Jones and Russell Kott.

Bentley lives in Jarrettsville with his wife, Rosalee, and bowls in two leagues at Bel Air Bowl -- the Monday First Nighters and the Thursday Commercial leagues.

"Sometimes I sub at Forest Hill," he said. "But I don't get too much chance to practice."

Still, he carries a 178 average with a high career game and set of 265 and 669, respectively.

And in the tournament he posted a score of 845 for the no-tap games to win first place and a check for $125 in Division I.

Kott, originally from Chicago, lives in Harford County with his wife, Beverly. Both bowl in the Monday Golden Agers league at Bel Air Bowl; Beverly has a 134 average, Russell 154.

"I used to bowl when I was younger but I quit for a long time," he said. "Then a couple years ago I dug out my old 16-pound bowling ball and started bowling again."

That old ball, "maybe 15 years old," still packs a lot of wallop.

Kott led the Division II bowlers with an 834 series; that was good for a payoff of $150.

His reaction to winning the tournament?

"Astounded!" he said. "It seemed that I just couldn't do anything wrong. It was just unbelievable."

Seniors helping the needy

Lil Ryan of Edgemere writes that the Golden Agers and the Golden Swinger senior leagues at Edgewood Lanes are collecting money and food for their annual Christmas baskets for needy folks in the area.

Bill Wolferman is managing a separate collection to buy shoes for needy children.

Criss wins $9,000 on pro tour

Tom Criss of Bel Air continues to make his mark on the Professional Bowlers Association tour.

In the $140,000 Rochester Open from Oct. 16-20 at Marcel's Olympic Bowl Lanes he averaged 212.9, won 16 of 24 head-to-head matches and finished ninth, good for $9,000.

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