Lucy Sandelin wins USBC Senior Queens


    United States

    By Bill Vint, USBC Communications

    2007USBCSQLucySandelinChampion.jpg Lucy Sandelin of Tampa, Fla., charged out of the contenders bracket Wednesday to race away with the United States Bowling Congress Senior Queens title at Northcross Lanes.

    In a showdown between USBC Hall of Famers, the once-beaten Sandelin overwhelmed previously undefeated Virginia Norton of Cypress, Calif., 680-563 and 645-546, to win the double-elimination title contest.

    Roseann Kuhn, right, presents Lucy Sandelin with the USBC Senior Queens tiara.

    2007USBCSQVirginiaNorton_small.jpg Sandelin, a Senior Queens "rookie" at age 50, earned $4,500 while Norton (pictured right) took home $2,800 as runner-up.

    Sandelin was in control from the start, rolling a 257 out of the gate while Norton struggled with her line to the pocket all day.

    "I needed a `get out of jail free' card, but never got one," Norton said. "Not that it would have mattered. Lucy bowled great."

    "As long as I kept my balance, I felt like I could make a good shot," Sandelin said. "If it carried, great. If not, I made my spares. It was just me against the lane. I had key words I kept saying to myself. It was part of our training when I was on Team USA, and it worked. I could easily have started looking ahead, but stayed in the here-and-now, and it kept me focused."

    For Sandelin, the Senior Queens tiara was a monumental triumph in more ways than one.

    "I stopped bowling completely for two years," she said. "I got burned out after the 2003 WTBA World Championships in Malaysia. I was just physically and mentally drained. And then, in January 2005, I was diagnosed with fallopian tube cancer, so I took another year going through chemotherapy and getting well."

    With her 50th birthday on the horizon, she decided it was time to get involved again.

    "I kept coaching my high school bowling group during that time, which kept me involved in the sport, but I decided I had an opportunity to be a rookie in Senior Queens - you only turn 50 once - and I thought it would be fun," Sandelin said. "Last November I started getting getting ready. I joined a handicap league and I started doing private lessons, and I started bowling better. I think it was because when you're coaching, you focus on fundamentals and I started listening to myself.

    "The key in coming to the Senior Queens was I just wanted to have fun. I didn't need to do it. I didn't need to win. Whatever happened today was OK."

    "Virginia is an awesome, such a class bowler," she said, almost in awe of what she had just accomplished. "Wow, USBC Senior Queens champion. That's beyond my wildest dreams."

    The USBC Senior Queens is sponsored by Storm.

    Winners Bracket

    Contenders Bracket