Champions celebrate as 2013 USBC Open Championships ends its 125-day run


    United States

    2013USBCOCLodgeLanesToo.jpgWhen Lodge Lanes Too of Orlando, Fla., rolled the highest team score in 110 years of United States Bowling Congress Open Championships history, team captain John Gaines was excited, but he wanted to save the celebration for when the feat also meant the team title at the 2013 event.

    L-R Jabczenski, Gaines, Newell, Peterson and Janawicz.

    The 46-year-old right-hander now can revel in the moment as the conclusion of this year's USBC Open Championships at the National Bowling Stadium on Sunday earned him his fourth win on the championship lanes.

    2013USBCOCLodgeLanesToo3538.jpgLodge Lanes Too opened its team event April 2 with a 1,206 game and added 1,167 and 1,165 for a 3,538 winning total. Bruegger's Bagels of Albany, N.Y., previously held the team record with 3,537, rolled in Tulsa, Okla., in 1993.

    Former Team USA member Vernon Peterson led the way for Lodge Lanes Too with a 772 series. Team USA member John Janawicz secured the record with three strikes in his final frame on the way to a 752 set. John Gaines added 681 and was followed by 1987 Team All-Events champion Mitch Jabczenski (669) and Professional Bowlers Association Tour titlist Scott Newell (664).

    The win is the third for Janawicz, the 2004 Regular Singles and Regular All-Events champion, and the first trip to the winner's circle for Peterson and Newell.

    "It has been a long few months with a lot of close calls from some really good teams, and now that I'm older and have been there before, I have a pretty good grasp on the title and truly can understand and appreciate what it means," said Gaines, one of 43 bowlers in history with four or more Open Championships titles.

    "But the record, and knowing we bowled the highest score in history, really hasn't sunk in yet. I don't think it will until I see the banner hanging up next year."

    2013USBCOCJuniorTeamUSASupport1.jpgThe end of the tournament's 125-day run meant redemption for former Team USA member Erik Vermilyea, a 2010 Regular Doubles runner-up, who helped his team Junior Team USA Support 1 of Mansfield, Texas (pictured left), to the Team All-Events crown this year with a 10,247 total, the 10th-highest in Open Championships history.

    The 29-year-old right-hander finished with a 2,097 all-events total and was joined by Steve Novak (2,153), PBA champion Anthony LaCaze (2,050), Matthew Tuckfield (2,046) and former Junior Team USA member Jeffrey Mersch, who bowled doubles with Vermilyea in 2010 (1,901).

    "This is such an amazing feeling," Vermilyea said. "We led for a month in 2010 and really thought that score was going to win. To come back like this and be able to share this moment with the whole team is unbelievable."

    2013USBCOCBrianBurkhardtRickGatlin.jpgBrian Burkhardt of St. Louis and Rick Gatlin of Eureka, Mo. (pictured right, l-r), each turned in clutch performances late in their doubles set May 21, which included a split conversion from Burkhardt and seven consecutive strikes from Gatlin, to take home the Regular Doubles title this year with a 1,440 total.

    The two have bowled doubles together all but once during their 11-year careers at the Open Championships, and now, their names will be side by side in the record books. Gatlin led the way with a 736 series, while Burkhardt contributed 704.

    "I thought this day would never get here," said Gatlin, a 53-year-old right-hander. "We tried our best to track it and watch when the notable bowlers were out there, and a couple of times, it got scary, but we prevailed. It's something I never expected, and it is an amazing feeling."

    201213PBAJohnSzczerbinski.jpgTeam USA member John Szczerbinski (left) of North Tonawanda, N.Y., held on to win Regular All-Events with a 2,228 total, capping off a successful year that included a win at the 2013 USBC Team USA Trials. He also was a member of the New York City WTT KingPins team that recently won the inaugural PBA League Elias Cup.

    "It has been a long wait filled with ups and downs, but to have my score hold up is a pretty tremendous feeling," said Szczerbinski, who had 789 in singles, 777 in team and 662 in doubles. "Not a lot of people get to win an eagle, especially at such a young age, so it's really special."

    2013USBCOCZekeBayt.jpgSzczerbinski, a 25-year-old right-hander, nearly claimed the Regular Singles title as well. His 789 series topped the standings for almost two months, before 20-year-old Zeke Bayt (right) of Westerville, Ohio, posted a 795 singles set on June 16.

    Bayt put together games of 288, 268 and 239, which included a dramatic final frame, where he needed five pins to secure at least a tie for the lead. He knocked down seven pins to end his second Open Championships appearance on a winning note.

    "I feel phenomenal," said Bayt, who added 647 in team and 611 in doubles for a 2,053 all-events total. "This is the biggest thing I've ever done. I think surreal is the best word to describe it. I still almost don't believe it happened."

    In the Classified Division, Daniel Pero of Tacoma, Wash., showed he's on the mend after battling a number of physical ailments in recent years that have kept him from the championship lanes. His first trip to the tournament since 2007 ended in memorable fashion as he earned the 2013 Classified All-Events title with a 1,807 total May 29.

    The 54-year-old right-hander shot 658 in doubles, 585 in singles and 564 in team, and the win marked his second Classified All-Events title, with the first coming at the 2000 event in Albuquerque, N.M., with a 1,911 total.

    "I really thought I lost it due to the exhaustion and hitting the wall during singles," Pero said. "I've been checking every day, sometimes two or three times. I was checking about 10 minutes before I got the call and realized it was the final day. It's an awesome feeling."

    George Atkinson Jr. of Henderson, Nev., also has battled a series of injuries and surgeries but bounced back to claim the Classified Singles title with a 663 effort April 11. The 62-year-old right-hander closed his 20th Open Championships appearance with games of 208, 215 and 240.

    The Classified Doubles title went to Jose Rivera of New Sharon, Iowa, and Ronnie Licht of Montezuma, Iowa, who combined for a 1,209 total May 15. Licht led the way with a 620 series, and Rivera contributed 589.

    Schmitt Reddi Mix 2 of Bennett, Colo., earned the Classified Team title with a games of 887, 949 and 927 for a 2,763 total. Ray Green led the way with a 628 series and was followed by Randy Taylor (591), Ron Morgan (520), Dan Palmer (514) and Kent Stoker (510).

    2013USBCOCLogo.jpg The 2013 Open Championships kicked off its record 11th trip to Reno on March 1 and brought 10,253 five-player teams to the NBS. For the first time in history, two Sport Bowling-certified lane conditions were used - a 41-foot oil pattern for team and a 39-foot pattern for doubles and singles.

    This year's event featured 33 perfect games, 13 299s and four 298s, while an additional 27 bowlers rolled 11 consecutive strikes. A record number of teams topped the 3,400 mark (20), beating the previous record of seven at the 2011 event, also at the NBS.

    Dean Billings of Rootstown, Ohio, and Eric Espinda of Albuquerque, N.M., tossed the only 800 series of the year, 813 and 837, respectively, with both coming in team. Espinda's set included three 279 games, breaking the tournament's triplicate record.


    Related Articles

    Companion team members Miguel Lopez, Ben Laughlin roll perfect games
    Craig Szplett becomes first bowler in USBC Open Championships history with three 300s
    Ohio's Zeke Bayt takes over lead in Regular Singles at USBC Open Championships
    New Mexico bowler Eric Espinda breaks triplicate record at USBC Open Championships
    California bowler rolls 24th perfect game of the 110th USBC Open Championships
    New doubles leaders emerge at USBC Open Championships
    USBC Hall of Famer Jimmy Schroeder celebrates 65 years at USBC Open Championships
    Ohio's Dean Billings shoots 300 for first 800 series of 2013 USBC Open Championships
    Regular Doubles lead changes hands at USBC Open Championships
    Team Canada's Mark Buffa achieves perfection at USBC Open Championships
    Team USA member John Szczerbinski leads two events at USBC Open Championships
    Two bowlers celebrate milestones at USBC Open Championships
    New leaders emerge in Team All-Events, Regular Doubles at USBC Open Championships
    Past champion John Janawicz grabs All-Events lead at USBC Open Championships
    Florida team breaks 20-year-old record at USBC Open Championships
    Kansas team dominates leaderboards at USBC Open Championships
    Minnesota, Wisconsin teams lead at USBC Open Championships
    Father and son set scoring pace at National Bowling Stadium
    2013 USBC Open Championships underway at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno
    Xbowling Tournament Edition adds excitement to USBC Open and Women's Championships
    2013 USBC Open Kickoff Show set for February 28
    110th USBC Open Championships will feature two lane conditions


    2013 USBC Open Championships - Regular Division

    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall

    1, Lodge Lanes Too (Mitch Jabczenski, John Gaines, Scott Newell, Vernon Peterson, John Janawicz), Orlando, Fla., 3,538. 2, Junior Team USA Support 1, Mansfield, Texas, 3,521. 3, Leaf Lovers, Justin, Texas, 3,509. 4, The Bowling Shop 1, Keller, Texas, 3,506. 5, Red Carpet Lanes, Waukesha, Wis., 3,499. 6, Ballard's Bowling Solution 2, Fort Worth, Texas, 3,471. 7,, Wichita, Kan., 3,469. 8, Team Pabst, Verona, Wis., 3,450. 9, K&K Bowling Services 5, Las Vegas, 3,445. 10, Fox Bowl 1, Wheaton, Ill., 3,443.

    1, Brian Burkhardt, St. Louis/Rick Gatlin, Eureka, Mo., 1,440. 2, Alex Aguiar, Dartmouth, Mass./Brian LeClair, Albany, N.Y., 1,422. 3(tie), Chris Greene/Joe Keltner, Wichita, Kan., and Joe Conti Jr., Liverpool, N.Y./Derek Magno, Cicero, N.Y., 1,403. 5(tie), Tony Reynaud, Harwinton, Conn./Glenn Hood, Ellington, Conn., and Patrick Dombrowski, Parma, Ohio/Marc Massie, Alexandria, Ky., 1,399. 7, Marc Scherlis, San Diego/Marv Sargent, Temecula, Calif., 1,397. 8, Russ Wilson, Lawrence, Kan./Jay Futrell, Derby, Kan., 1,396. 9, Ben Hoefs, Mobile, Ala./Henry Teetz III, West Allis, Wis., 1,392. 10, Jacob Wright, Terre Haute, Ind./Jeremy Dixson, Bay City, Mich., 1,389.

    1, Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio., 795. 2, John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y., 789. 3, Matt McNiel, Prior Lake, Minn., 787. 4, Mike Shady, Fairview, Pa., 783. 5, Aaron Jones, Palos Hills, Ill., 778. 6, Kelly Bonta, Wichita, Kan., 776. 7, Chris Kliczinski, Pinckney, Mich., 773. 8(tie), Greg Roberts, Oshkosh, Wis., Brandon Hinderer, York, Pa., and Rick Minier, Houston, 771.

    1, John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y., 2,228. 2, Dean Billings, Rootstown, Ohio, 2,214. 3, Eric Espinda, Albuquerque, N.M., 2,183. 4, John Janawicz, Winter Haven, Fla., 2,169. 5(tie), Corey Husted, Milwaukie, Ore., and Mike Moore, Orlando, Fla., 2,166. 7, Joe Keltner, Wichita, Kan., 2,154. 8(tie), Steve Novak, Bay City, Mich., and Andrew Colon, Zephyrhills, Fla., 2,153. 10, Steve Harman, Indianapolis, 2,151.

    Team All-Events
    1, Junior Team USA Support 1 (Matthew Tuckfield, Steve Novak, Anthony LaCaze, Jeffrey Mersch, Erik Vermilyea), Mansfield, Texas, 10,247. 2, HornswogglerS, Staten Island, N.Y., 10,204. 3, Backhaul Direct - Lumper, Indianapolis, 10,111. 4, Leaf Lovers, Justin, Texas, 10,108. 5, Team Tilt, Lawrence, Kan., 10,065. 6, Higgy, Westerville, Ohio, 10,058. 7, Fox Bowl 1, Wheaton Ill., 10,039. 8, K&K Bowling Services 5, Las Vegas, 10,019. 9, Red Carpet Lanes, Waukesha, Wis., 10,007. 10, Degenerate Bowlers, Redding, Calif., 10,003.


    2013 USBC Open Championships - Classified Division

    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfall

    1, Schmitt Reddi Mix 2 (Ray Green, Ron Morgan, Dan Palmer, Kent Stoker, Randy Taylor), Bennett, Colo., 2,763. 2. Trinity Clothing, Glendale, Ariz., 2,746. 3, Cash Gas Co LLC, Ava, Mo., 2,723. 4, Scotty's 1, Alexandria, Minn., 2,720. 5, Aztec 2, Lacey, Wash., 2,707. 6, RDU Rollers 5, Durham, N.C., 2,704. 7, Skyline Chili, Independence, Ky., 2,702. 8, It was the Water, Lacey, Wash., 2,687. 9, The Inexplicables, Conetoe, N.C., 2,662. 10, Kleve Construction, Wyoming, Iowa, 2,659.

    1, Jose Rivera, New Sharon, Iowa/Ronnie Licht, Montezuma, Iowa, 1,209. 2, Isaac Vidaurri/Frank Goff, Kingsville, Texas, 1,180. 3, Dick Shroyer, Florence, S.C./Paul Locklair, Effingham, S.C., 1,160. 4, Bruce Mercer/Anita Mercer, Vermont, Ill., 1,159. 5(tie), Tom Musante, San Mateo, Calif./Ryan Riewer, Fargo, N.D., and Wayne Sakai/Glen Yagi, Lodi, Calif., 1,150. 7, Robert Biederstadt/Walter Williamson, Bellingham, Wash., 1,141. 8(tie), Todd Austin, Cedar Springs, Mich./David Lane, Sparta, Mich., and Tim Reeder, Phoenix/Dale Waddell, Mesa, Ariz., 1,140. 10, Raymond Cummings, Miramar, Fla./Rudolph Levarity, Miami, 1,139.

    1, George Atkinson Jr., Henderson, Nev., 663. 2, Wayne Laszczak, Bartlett, Ill., 658. 3, Dan Delong, Emerald, Wis., 641. 4, Ryan Peterson, Story City, Iowa, 640. 5, Mark Heilman, Kasota, Minn., 637. 6, Adam Atherton, Independence, Ky., 635. 7, Russell Hirayasu, Kailua, Hawaii, 632. 8, James Kennedy, Plattsburg, Mo., 631. 9(tie), Johnny Anderson, Richfield, Utah, and Joe Erickson, Auburn, Wash., 627.

    1, Daniel Pero, Tacoma, Wash., 1,807. 2, Jerry Fagan, Apple Valley, Calif., 1,798. 3, Rick Sixberry, Boulder City, Nev., 1,776. 4, LeRoy Krein, Mandan, N.D., 1,762. 5, Mitch Soeffker, Gaylord, Minn., 1,746. 6, Tyler Stockeland, Hannaford, N.D., 1,717. 7, Adam Atherton, Independence, Ky., 1,715. 8, Alejandro Escoboza, Nogales, Ariz., 1,712. 9, Cory Overman, Fort Worth, Texas, 1,708. 10, Mark Heilman, Kasota, Minn., 1,707.