Florida bowler makes 63rd appearance at USBC Women's Championships


    United States

    National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., United States (March 28 - July 5, 2009)

    2009USBCWCMiniTvaska.jpgMini Tvaska of St. Petersburg, Fla., has participated in the United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships more times than any other bowler in tournament history.

    This week, the energetic 91-year-old added to her legacy as she competed in the event for the 63rd time.

    "I'm so happy to be taking part in this tournament, and I'm already registered for next year's in El Paso," Tvaska said. "I'm in pretty good shape, and I have even raised my average from last year when I was still recuperating from a shoulder injury."

    Tvaska has earned celebrity status at the USBC Women's Championships over the years and arrived at the National Bowling Stadium wearing a 2009 version of her signature hat, pearl jewelry and always-present smile. She hit the lanes on what would have been her 69th wedding anniversary and her late husband's 92nd birthday.

    Tvaska, whose legal name is Monica, is one of three bowlers to make 60 appearances at the Women's Championships. Mary Covell of Chicago bowled in 61 events through 1992, and Nancy Hampton of Carol Stream, Ill., ended her career with her 60th trip to the event in 1993.

    Tvaska credits camaraderie for her ongoing optimism. She has made many friends on the lanes, and their support is excellent motivation, too. As a surprise for Tvaska, some of the bowlers in her Breakfast Club league at Sunrise Lanes in St. Petersburg did something extra to make sure she had a good trip to Reno.

    "They gave me a certificate that said, 'Go, Girl!' and raised money for me to spend on gambling in Reno," Tvaska said. "I spent that as soon as I got off the plane, and then added some of my own money, but I ended up coming out ahead."

    Tvaska has always been sports-minded and details a history filled with stories of roller derby competitions in the 1930s, women's softball adventures as her team's catcher, and, of course, her time on the lanes.

    When she landed her first job in suburban Detroit, Tvaska and her sister joined the company's bowling team. They won a Michigan state title in 1951, and Tvaska has added numerous city tournament awards over the years, too.

    Her original nickname, Minnie, whittled down to Mini, mirrors her less than 5-foot stature, which presented a few challenges on the softball diamond, but was a different story on the lanes. Tvaska never lost command of the bowling ball despite her size, and still has a good grasp on it today. Her highest bowling game over the years is 232 and her highest series is 599.

    Tvaska has always been on the go. She's held jobs in factories and offices and has even worked as a nanny. Her home is filled with trophies, and she still enjoys taking in a game featuring her favorite team, the Tampa Bay Rays - although today it's more likely to be one she listens to on the radio or TV rather than in person.

    Vision problems caused by advanced macular degeneration have presented some challenges, but can't stop her, especially in her favorite sport.

    "I can still see the headpin, but I have trouble with the 4, 6, 7 and 10," Tvaska said. "Since I also can't see to spot bowl, I simply throw the ball as much toward the middle as I can and hope for a lot of pin action."

    This year, Tvaska completed her time on the lanes with games of 91, 102 and 100 for a 293 team series. She did not compete in doubles and singles.

     Presenting sponsors for the 2009 USBC Women's Championships are Eldorado Hotel Casino, Silver Legacy Resort Casino and Circus Circus Reno. Other participating sponsors are Kegel, official lane maintenance provider, Atlantis Hotel and Casino, Sands Regency Casino Hotel, Harrah's Hotel and Casino, Club Cal Neva, and Storm Products Inc.


    2009 USBC Women's Championships

    National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., United States (March 28 - July 5, 2009)


    Top 5 division leaders with hometown and pinfalls

    Team (946 average and above)
    1, Together Once Again (Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, Lynda Barnes, Cathy Dorin-Lizzi, Andrea Fleming, Tammy Boomershine), Keller, Texas, 3,322. 2, Alpha Pool Plastering, Newhall, Calif., 3,286. 3, Shootin' Nines, Indianapolis, 3,251. 4, Husky Shox, Wichita, Kan., 3,202. 5, Bowlers Choice Pro Shop, Tonawanda, N.Y., 3,143.

    Doubles (379 average and above)
    1, Clara Guerrero, Austin, Texas/Jenifer Larson, Tupper Lake, N.Y., 1,404. 2, Adrienne Miller, Albuquerque, N.M./Lindsay Baker, Amherst, N.Y., 1,384. 3, Joy Esterson, Annapolis, Md./Kassy Golden, Colorado Springs, Colo., 1,371. 4, Robin Romeo, Newhall, Calif./Jeanne Naccarato, Tacoma, Wash., 1,361. 5, Trish Manna/Suzy Minino, Omaha, Neb., 1,338.

    Singles (190 average and above)
    1, Michelle Feldman, Auburn, N.Y., 816. 2, Brenda Mack, Indianapolis, 761. 3, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 758. 4, Anita Manns, Austin, Texas, 723. 5, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 720.

    All Events (190 average and above)
    1, Robin Romeo, Newhall, Calif., 2,172. 2, Brenda Mack, Indianapolis, 2,161. 3, Rachel Perez, Maumelle, Ark., 2,160. 4, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 2,139. 5, Tish Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo., 2,053.



    Top 5 division leaders with hometown and pinfalls

    Team (846-945 average)
    1, X-Out 2 (Cynthia BlairMcManus, Dorothy Copeland, Stephanie Gardner, Jolita Perry, Mona Wheeler), Lorton, Va., 2,787. 2, Adams Apples, Liverpool, N.Y., 2,716. 3, Tahoe Girlies, Cave Rock, Nev., 2,701. 4, Dale's Weston Lanes, Wausau, Wis., 2,696. 5, Spare Chasers, Ramsey, Minn., 2,681.

    Doubles (339-378 average)
    1, Rebecca Swanson/Gloria Knatcal, Mankato, Minn., 1,208. 2 (tie), Estella Brown-Secrest/Wanda Pettigrew-Jones, Detroit, and Darlene Smith, Lakewood, Colo./Laurel Rhodes, Englewood, Colo., 1,182. 4, Kristi LaCroix/Jamie Nelson, Spokane, Wash., 1181. 5, Kelly Scalici/Michele Chaney, Clinton Township, Mich., 1,174.

    Singles (170-189 average)
    1, Linda Freeland, Dade City, Fla., 694. 2, Wanda Simmons, Stillwater, Okla., 668. 3, Teresa Bond, Gurnee, Ill., 648. 4, Sandie Ruskey, Everett, Wash., 640. 5, Jeri Espinoza, South San Francisco, Calif., 639.

    All Events (170-189 average)
    1, Rowena DeMesa, Daly City, Calif., 1,781. 2, Sheryl Spagnoletti, Howell, Mich., 1,779. 3, Jodi Jones, Glendale, Ariz., 1,763. 4, Hazel Pettit, Daly City, Calif., 1,762. 5, Stephanie Laney, Warner Robbins, Ga., 1,740.



    Top 5 division leaders with hometown and pinfalls

    Team (746-845 average)
    1, MD Crabs With Attitude (Tracey O'Leary, Alice Lloyd, Amanda Lloyd, Barbara Peters, Wanda Jameson), Waldorf, Md., 2,649. 2, Maple Lanes, Waterloo, Iowa, 2,573. 3, A Family Affair, Faribault, Minn., 2,556. 4, Magic Lanes, Seattle, 2,553. 5, Pink Ladies, Skokie, Ill., 2,546.

    Doubles (299-338 average)
    1, Lynda Woodall, Rainier, Ore./Kate Olson, Saint Helens, Ore., 1,178. 2, Marcie Bentti, Palmer, Alaska/Tracy Adams, Wasilla, Alaska, 1,164. 3, Nora Richardson, Alvin, Texas/Kerry Moreland, Houston, 1,160. 4, Michele Anderson, Arlington, Texas/Aldaria Brown, Harbor City, Calif., 1,150. 5, Heather Johnson, Waterford, Mich./Deanna Ish, Dexter, Mich., 1,135.

    Singles (150-169 average)
    1, Nicole Evans, Buena Park, Calif., 646. 2, Linda King, Suffield, Ohio, 642. 3, Tammy Chenevert, Crosby, Texas, 641. 4, Dixie Fronk, Springville, Utah, 625. 5, Anne Phillips, North Wilkesboro, N.C., 623.

    All Events (150-169 average)
    1, Sheree Addison, Camarillo, Calif., 1,745. 2, Marcie Bentti, Palmer, Alaska, 1,723. 3, Dorothy Cotton, Oakland, Calif., 1,704. 4, Janice Mitchell, Universal City, Texas, 1,677. 5, Dixie Fronk, Springville, Utah, 1,657.



    Top 5 division leaders with hometown and pinfalls

    Team (651-745 average)
    1, Friendship Squad-F (Joyce Arbogast, Nettie Miller, Jewell Hutchison, Virginia Priestman, Michelle Schirer), 2,382. 2, Riley-Armstrong Plumbing, Fort Dodge, Iowa, 2,376. 3, Tornadoes-4 Square, Glencoe, Minn., 2,361. 4, Tri-City Ladies, Lakeland, Fla., 2,342. 5, Ducks In A Row, Troy, Ala., 2,339.

    Doubles (261-298 average)
    1, Pam R. Graham/Debbie Graham, Albany Ore., 1,043. 2, JoAnn Legge, Phoenix/Liz Fallin, Fountain Hills, Ariz., 1,021. 3, Kris Romain, Madison, Wis./Ellen White, Middleton, Wis., 1,019. 4, Christine Cotey/Melissa Cook, Elma, Wash., 1,017. 5, Leanne Watson/Susan Herron, Incline Village, Nev., 1,015.

    Singles (131-149 average)
    1, Diane Davis-Cain, Covington, Ky., 590. 2, Carol H. Miller, Shreveport, La., 575. 3, Lois DuBois, Pine Bush, N.Y., 570. 4 (tie), Deb O'Howell, Walworth, Wis., and Laura Lockett, Grangeville, Idaho, 566.

    All Events (131-149 average)
    1, Diane Davis-Cain, Covington, Ky., 1,597. 2, Judy Hansen, London, Ontario, 1,551. 3 (tie), Stacey Harlow, Satanta, Kan., and Alexis Caylao, San Leandro, Calif., 1,534. 5, Vicki Schoening, Alexandria, Minn., 1,520.



    Top 5 division leaders with hometown and pinfalls

    Team (650 average and below)
    1 (tie), Texas Tornados (Kerri Niemeyer, Wendy Goodnight, Kim Mitchell, Jacqueline Langlinais, Jean Burns), Lorena, Texas, and Team Labatt (Jennifer Carpentier, Susan Swartzer, Katie Anderson, Heidi Gongoll, Lisa Gabbert), Howard Lake, Minn., 2,064. 3, Ten Pins, Anoka, Minn., 2,024. 4, Westside Pharmacy, Capitola, Calif., 2,019. 5, Comfort Inn, Manderson, Wyo., 2,018.

    Doubles (260 average and below) "
    1, Wanda Blain, Carlisle, Pa./Tammy Smith, Dry Run, Pa., 942. 2, Betty Campbell, Cottonwood, Idaho/Laura Lockett, Grangeville, Idaho, 930. 3, Jane Wright, Midlothian, Va./Melanie Mendenhell, Richmond, Va., 929. 4, Tracey A. Reed, Sherman, Texas/Evelyn Green, Irving, Texas, 916. 5 (tie), Kayla Robertson, Council Bluffs, Iowa/Marilyn Rumple, Ralston, Neb., and Margaret Youngbear/Verona Suchanek, Tama Iowa, 904.

    Singles (130 average and below)
    1, Joy Chauvette, Westbrook, Maine, 547. 2, Lois Keller, Milwaukee, Wis., 532. 3, Mandi Everett, San Bernardino, Calif., 531. 4, Robin Miles, South Haven, Minn., 520. 5, Charlotte Gamble, Sylvan Lake, Mich., 500.

    All Events (130 average and below)
    1, Robin Miles, South Haven, Minn., 1,424. 2, Erica Brehm, Renton, Wash., 1,409. 3, Annette Hernandez, Eaton Rapids, Mich., 1,407. 4, Andrea Randall, West Jordan, Utah, 1,406. 5, Suzanne Emerson, West Jordan, Utah, 1,385.