Preparation pays off for Minnesota bowlers at USBC Open Championships


    United States

    National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. (Feb. 17 - June 30, 2007)

    2007USBCOCLarryHarvanko.jpg Larry Harvanko of Champlin, Minn., describes his team as once-a-week league bowlers, but the group performed like champions this week at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.

    Harvanko teamed up with Brett Pfeifer of Minneapolis to take the lead in Classified Doubles with 1,232 at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., on Wednesday and added 616 in singles and 596 in team to move into the top spot in Classified All-Events with 1,836. Michael DiPaolo of Eighty Four, Pa., and Donald Hughes and West Newton, Pa., previously held the doubles lead with 1,186, while Michael Tieden of Blaine, Minn., led all-events with 1,809.

    "We knew coming in that the lanes were going to be tough and the scores could be low, but we also knew that we can bowl well enough to be competitive," said Harvanko, a 49-year-old right-hander who releases the ball with two hands and no thumb. "We made sure this trip was strictly about bowling and nothing else."

    Harvanko, who became a team captain for the first time this year, also helped his Pfeifer Printing teammates to games of 853, 1,011 and 956 for a 2,820 total and second place in Classified Team on Tuesday. Roberts Repair of Pontiac, Ill., leads with 2,845.

    Darrell Friar led the way for Pfeifer Printing with 661 and was followed by Harvanko, Brett Pfeifer (557), Robert Pfeifer (551) and Richard Hall (455).

    The group of 10 players included bowlers from two different associations in Minnesota, all of whom are regular participants in the local Amateur Bowlers Tour. Of the 10 bowlers, four were Open Championships first-timers.

    Before making the trip, the staff at Classic Bowl in Coon Rapids, Minn., helped the group get ready for the big event by allowing them to practice on more challenging lane conditions. As a result they arrived confident, determined and well prepared.

    "We were allowed to practice every Thursday and Friday on four lanes that were set up with extra oil to make our shots tighter in anticipation of coming to the Open Championships," Pfeifer said. "We must have bowled 75 to 100 games like that. It definitely was tougher on our team, but it seems to have paid off in the end."

    After leaving Reno, part of the group will head off to the 2007 ABT Spring Nationals, which runs from Tuesday until Sunday at Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall in Las Vegas.

    "Some people use the Open Championships as a vacation, but we come out focused on bowling, and we had our sights set on the top of the leaderboard because we knew it was possible," Harvanko said. "This trip has been all about the bowling, and we even went to the Forty Frame Game and Bowlers Journal to get some extra games in. Hopefully the success will carry over to Vegas."

    Presenting sponsors for the 2007 USBC Open Championships are Eldorado, Silver Legacy and Circus Circus Hotel/Casinos in Reno, Nev. Other participating sponsors are Kegel, official lane maintenance provider, Sands Regency Casino and Hotel, official brackets sponsor and supporting sponsors Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa and Harrah's Casino and Hotel.

    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfalls:


    1, Vic Telemarketing 2 (Brian Boghosian, Ron Nelson Jr., Bill Webb, Bryan O'Keefe, Chris Viale), Westfield, Mass., 3,218. 2, Tom's Rhinoplasty, Newton, Iowa, 3,203. 3, Warrior Lanes, Des Moines, Iowa, 3,191. 4, Village Bowl 1, Mitchell, S.D., 3,175. 5, Team U S A, St. Louis, 3,167. 6, Team USA Support 5, Omaha, Neb., 3,148. 7, Ebonite & Friends, Roseville, Calif., 3,130. 8, Team Boroff, Mansfield, Texas, 3,125. 9, Mark Weller Pro Shop, Coldwater, Mich., 3,123. 10, Lawn Lanes 2, Burbank, Ill., 3,118.

    1, Derek Eoff, Greenfield, Wis./Richard Volhard, Rothschild, Wis., 1,467. 2, Ken Duffield, Madison, Wis./Chris Pounders, Sun Prairie, Wis., 1,463. 3, Darren Jones, Waldorf, Md./William Blaney III, Indian Head, Md., 1,424. 4, Brian Hoffman, Mount Horeb, Wis./Jay Heinzelman, Madison, Wis., 1,408. 5, James Augustine, Grand Forks, N.D./Ron Zutz, Warren, Minn., 1,402. 6, Tim Reinke/Darin Zanke, New Ulm, Minn., 1,393. 7, Chad Pierce, Flowery Branch, Ga./Randy Russell, Monroe, Ga., 1,386. 8, Mike Kruse/Mike Kruse Jr., Vermillion, S.D., 1,383. 9, George Kontos, Joliet, Ill./Paul Nicholas, Romeoville, Ill., 1,371. 10, Jake Monto, Walbridge, Ohio/Nick Stone, Toledo, Ohio, 1,367.

    1, Chip Aki, Nicholasville, Ky., 814. 2, Andrew Udahl, Elk Grove, Calif., 792. 3, Harry Banks Jr., Coal City, Ill., 782. 4, Justin Smith, Bluffton, S.C., 774. 5, Michael Barron, Monroe, Mich., 770. 6, Benjamin Cleveland, Sheboygan, Wis., 761. 7, Greg Brooks, Sturtevant, Wis., 758. 8, Jeremy Sonnenfeld, Sioux Falls, S.D., 751. 9, David Gift, Blandon, Pa., 748. 10, Rob Bolte, Verona, Pa., 746.

    1, Dede Davidson, Buellton, Calif., 2,118. 2, Mike Miller, Rio Rancho, N.M., 2,114. 3, Ken Duffield, Madison, Wis., 2,106. 4, Robert Spigner, Vernon Hills, Ill., 2,104. 5, Jeremy Sonnenfeld, Sioux Falls, S.D., 2,102. 6, Bill Webb, Enfield, Conn., 2,095. 7, Curtis Odom, Coldwater, Mich., 2,089. 8, Jerry Rapp, Grand Island, Neb., 2087. 9, Chip Aki, Nicholasville, Ky., 2,081. 10, Derek Eoff, Greenfield, Wis., 2,075.

    Team All-Events
    1, Tom's Rhinoplasty (Dick Lankford, Eric Arnold, Jason Hale, Michael Miller, Matt Smith), Newton, Iowa, 9,764. 2, Team USA Support 5, Omaha, Neb., 9,755. 3, Vic Telemarketing 2, Westfield, Mass., 9,654. 4, Team Dirty, Madison, Wis., 9,619. 5, Village Bowl 1, Mitchell, S.D., 9,562. 6, Team U S A, St. Louis, 9,554. 7, Ebonite & Friends, Roseville, Calif., 9,553. 8, Clone Huskers, Greenfield, Wis., 9,536. 9, Waynedale Bakery, Fort Wayne, Ind., 9,477. 10, Vic Telemarketing 3, Westfield, Mass., 9,451.


    1, Roberts Repair (Dave Schmidt, Jerry Roberts, Rich Bucheit, Rick Rambo, Felix Salinas Jr.), Pontiac, Ill., 2,845. 2, Pfeifer Printing, Champlin, Minn., 2,820. 3, Galaxy-Dew's Crew, Kinston, N.C., 2,737. 4, Lake County Rollers 1, Clarissa, Minn., 2,719. 5, Sportsman Bowling Club 6, Cerritos, Calif., 2,704. 6, H & J Chevrolet, Kerman, Calif., 2,696. 7, HGNB 1, Romeoville, Ill., 2,686. 8, Steel City Strikers, Rostraver, Pa., 2,675. 9, Marlleacres Dairy, Orland, Ill., 2,673. 10, Coral Lanes, Miller, S.D., 2,671.

    1, Larry Harvanko, Champlin, Minn./Brett Pfeifer, Minneapolis, 1,232. 2, Michael DiPaolo, Eighty Four, Pa./Donald Hughes, West Newton, Pa., 1,186. 3, Frank Goff Jr./Issac Vidaurri, Kingsville, Texas, 1,181. 4, John Bassi/Michael Malgrat, Key West, Fla., 1,174. 5, Jonathan Carter, Seven Springs, N.C./Freddie Marshall, Kinston, N.C., 1,173. 6, Ralph Johnson/Dave Dahl, Ada, Minn., 1,170. 7, Dave Engelkes, Arnolds Park, Iowa/Greg Rolling, Spirit Lake, Iowa, 1,167. 8 (tie), Tom Holland, Dayton, Minn./Ronald Mead, Rogers, Minn., and Charles Meyer/Dave Schneider, Alexandria, Minn., 1,156. 9, Mike Lovelace/Neil Zink, Fargo, N.D., 1,154.

    1, Ken Varner, Lexington, N.C., 664. 2, Rand Syverson, Onamia, Minn., 660. 3, Don Manhalter, Sterling, Colo., 652. 4, Robert Stephens, San Francisco, 650. 5, Joseph Paussa, Baldwinsville, N.Y., 649. 6, Ron Hester, Lexington, N.C., 635. 7, Brian Wright, Buckinghamshire, England, 633. 8, Marvin Clark, Aransas Pass, Texas, 631. 9, Jerry Stratman, Shelby, Mont., 628. 10 (tie), Roy Umehira, Honolulu and Mike Criswell, Yuma, Colo., 627.

    1, Larry Harvanko, Champlin, Minn., 1,836. 2, Michael Tieden, Blaine, Minn., 1,809. 3, Anthony Kastle, Wilmington, N.C., 1,776. 4, Tate Ziglar, Lexington, N.C., 1,770. 5, Mike Godfrey, Meade, Kan., 1,762. 6, Mike Criswell, Yuma, Colo., 1,760. 7 (tie), Marvin Clark, Aransas Pass, Texas, and Duane Silseth, Fargo, N.D., 1,751. 9, Donald Hughes, West Newton, Pa., 1,750. 10, John Bassi, Key West, Fla., 1,731.