Bowlerama team, Connie Ward return home with national gold

Six of Hamilton’s top five-pin bowlers have claimed gold medals in Northern Ontario tournaments.

In the National Classified Canadian Finals in Thunder Bay, the top average went to Ray Schroeder, who rolled along at a 246 pace, and had a high game of 305 for the Stoney Creek Bowlerama team which represented Southern Ontario. Dave Mitchell used a 266 high game to average 213 while Dave Young, a dedicated employee of Bowlerama, averaged 207 for 14 games with a high effort of 299 to finish with the third highest average of the five-man team from Bowlerama.

Completing the team were Ken O’Breza with a 175 average and 242 high game and Don Dykeman, 168 average and a 226 high game.

They won by two and a half points over Alberta to become the first team representing Southern Ontario to win the National title since 1987. For Schroeder it is his second gold medal in 2007. Earlier he mined gold in the National Seniors Tournament.

Young, 20, started five pin at the tender age of four at University Lanes in Dundas. Last season he averaged 221 in his Tuesday league at Bowlerama, which opened nearly 50 years ago.

In Thunder Bay, Young started slow in his first three games before a 228 fourth game got him started. He threw 254 and 265 in games seven and eight and finished strong with 749 for the the three for his 207 average and the coveted team gold medal.

A few days later in Sudbury, Connie Ward captured the gold medal in the ladies singles of the Canadian Open National Championships with a 226-222 victory over Karen Armstrong of Manitoba.

After 21 qualifying games, Ward was ranked first by 120 pins with a 271 average and a bye into the championship match. During the event, Ward was first in six individual categories in ladies singles. They were high 21, seven, six, five, four and three game series. Ward’s games of 300 or better were 386, 371, 348, 344, 336 and 300.

Ward qualified for the Nationals by winning her second Ontario Open Championship singles event at Hamilton’s Sherwood Lanes in April 313-259 over Kristi Lampman of Woodstock. She qualified first with a 295 average.

Ward won her first Ontario crown in 1986 at age 19. As a youth she won six National Championships, and as an adult, has five National team titles in Open and Masters competition. She has four perfect games, three in five pins and one in ten pins. Her 450 and 300 in 2002 is the first time in Canadian history a bowler has been perfect in both five and ten pins in the same calender year.

Congratulations to all six gold medalists.