|Henry, Randolph win bowling titles
By Dan Manley
Advocate Sports Editor
Sterling Lanes in Mt. Sterling has attracted bowlers from a wide geographic area since the facility opened.
Back in 2009 they began staging the house championships the lanes showed their “cosmopolitan” nature with bowlers who live in Winchester and Morehead taking home the titles.
Teddy Henry of Winchester won the men’s title while Keisha Randolph captured the women’s title. The championship was the first for Henry and the third for Randolph, who captured the title for the third time in the last four years to become the first-ever three-time champion.
Both of the winners qualified first in the preliminaries, so they went into the ladder competition as the favorites. Still, there was plenty of drama on Saturday with a number of matches that went right down to the wire.
Bowlers got into the House Championship competitions by finishing in the top 10 in scratch handicap during their leagues in the fall/winter seasons and then if a bowler was unable to compete the next bowler in line got to step up.
There were nine men and nine women who competed in the qualifying round.
Teddy Henry and John Conn finished tied for the top spot in the men’s field with 615 qualifying series. Then Henry won a roll-off to end up in the top position for the finals.
Shawn Planck finished third and then Ron Hill and Mark Chandler tied for the fourth position with Hill winning the roll-off for the fourth spot, although those two were meeting in the opening match of the finals.
Henry got off to a great start with a 225 and then followed that up with a 197 and a 193,
Conn rolled a 229 for his opening game, the highest game in the men’s competition for the entire day. Then came a 173 followed by a 213 to get him back to the 615 level.
Ron Hill was consistent throughout, rolling games of 180, 174 and 170 while Mark Chandler had games of 161, 173 and then 190, an upward trend that would continue when the ladder competition began.
Planck was right in the middle of the pack of qualifiers with games of 169, 206 and 165 for a 540 total.
Randolph had her day get off to a really slow start.
Her 148 game for openers was put her in eighth place one game into the competition.
But she rallied for a 190 in game two and then bested the entire field, men and women, for the entire day, with a 256 in game three for a 594 total that was 14 pins ahead of Jana Litton, who entered the final game with an 83 pin lead against Randolph.
Vanessa Campbell, a two-time house champion, finished in the middle spot, qualifying third, followed by Charlotte Clark and Ida Rickman.
Rickman had a finish comparable to Randolph’s as she came from back in the pack with a 210 third game to qualify fifth.
The first match of the men’s finals, Chandler against Hill, began with Ron Hill gradually moving into the lead midway through the match.
He appeared in a position to take control of the match when a 3-10 split popped up and he just barely grazed the 10 pin to have an open frame.
Meanwhile, Chandler who had an open frame early on, held steady throughout the game and posted a 193 for five-pin victory.
Chandler, who started bowling a number of years ago at the urging of his wife, had once again topped his previous game and he moved into the next match against No. 3 qualifier Shawn Planck.
The bowlers were operating on lanes three and four and Planck simply owned the fourth lane, getting strike after strike.
Chandler had something unusual happen during that contest when he got distracted starting his approach and backed off.
After going through his routine again, he said he became distracted just as he released the ball and it sailed into the gutter.
“I can’t tell you the last time that happened to me,” Chandler said.
Still, he came back and picked up a spare with his second ball but that was still costly.
That match, highest scoring contest of the day, went to the final frame when Planck struck out for a 225, just ahead of Chandler’s 212.
That positioned Planck against defending champion John Conn and they went nip and tuck all the away with Conn finishing strong but not quite strong enough as Planck got a 194-192 victory to reach the finals.
Teddy Henry, a lefty, had his worst game of the day in the finals, rolling a 181, but it bested Planck, who was bowling his sixth game with a three and a half hour span and slumped to a 161, his lowest score of the day.
Henry said he bowled at the old Forest Park Lanes in Winchester prior to its closing, then came to Sterling Lanes.
“I’ve really enjoyed bowling here,” Henry said. “It’s always a great atmosphere and there are a lot of good bowlers here. I don’t get tired of competing.”
Planck is also from Winchester and said that after not bowling for a few years he got back into the sport so that he could spend time with his son Ashley, who also competed in the qualifying round.
Ida Rickman and Charlotte Clark opened the ladder tournament and Clark, who qualified with a 475 total in the three games, pulled away at the end for a 162-136 victory.
That moved her against No. 3 qualifier Vanessa Campbell and Clark posted a 173-160 upset win there.
This was Clark’s first time to compete in the tournament and she then took second place qualifier Jana Litton to the wire with the two ladies finished in a deadlock at the end of 10 frames.
In the roll off, Litton finished things off with a strike on the first ball.
In the finals, Randolph didn’t get off to a great start but gradually gained some momentum and finished with a 167-147 triumph to win her third house championship in the last four years.
The fall leagues will be forming soon at Sterling Lanes and they are looking for both teams and individuals who would like to join a team to contact them for the upcoming season as the summer leagues begin to wrap up over the next few week