July 28 A record eleven 300 games

A record eleven 300 games were bowled in the past month at Tenpins & More, including a weekly record of five authored by Joe LaRosa and Carson Opela in the Scratch Match-Play tournament, Dana Miller-Mackie and Jon Arevalo in the Jim Chapman Trios on Wednesday and Levi Yoder the next night in a Coffee Wars league session.  For Miller-Mackie, it was her 81st perfect game, her first since the Covid-19 pandemic closure of almost a year. She followed up with 202, 247 and 235 for a 984 series. Arevalo added 268, 257 and 265 for a stellar 1,090 set.

It’s likely to be quite a different story when the special “sport” lane condition is laid down for the $ 70,450 New Mexico Open from August 18-20, as there has been less than a handful of 300’s bowled in the tournament’s 18-year history.

The top four finalists, who will emerge from an expected starting field of more than 200 bowlers from across the US, Canada and Mexico, have a chance to win a new car from Pitre Kia should one roll twelve consecutive strikes in the championship round on Sunday August 20.

Entries as at July 23 were at 140, more than two dozen ahead at that date from any previous year. They include bowlers from thirteen different states, led by New Mexico at 49, then Colorado 26, Arizona 21 and Texas 16.  Eight previous winners as well as four prior runners-up are scheduled to appear.

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Two more bowlers won their way in to next month’s New Mexico Open in a qualifier at Tenpins & More.  Antonio Lopez, who moved to Rio Rancho from El Paso a few years ago, returned to his best form, carding a six game series of 1,411, on games of 267, 227, 235, 234, 232 and 216 to beat early leader, Pete Sheridan by 37 pins.  Sheridan, who opened with 264, 234, 269, 223 dug a hole for himself in game five with 169, but recovered sufficiently with a closing 215 to finish one pin ahead of “super senior”, Gary Hadley of Santa Fe on 1,374.  Former Cleveland Storm coach, Dennis Helmick was next 1,357, followed by Eric Vanderlip 1,348, Joseph Paterson of Soccoro 1,321 and Steve Shultz 1,320 in a high-scoring affair.

Meanwhile, entries are coming in from all over the US, including now fifteen states as well as Canada and Mexico.  Seven former champions are signed including defending champion, PBA Rookie-of-the-Year Cortez Schenck of Phoenix, along with PBA stand-out, Jakob Butturff and two-time US Open winner, Francois Lavoie of Wichita, Kansas.

Local hopes for a win are pinned on a growing number of area bowlers such as last year’s runner-up J D Nance, Jacob Gill, Aileen Linares, Adrienne Hare, DeeRonn Booker and Brian Skidmore.

Tournament organizer, Steve Mackie expects a field of more than 200 that awards a record $ 70,450 prize-money in the tournament’s 19th renewal, August 18-20 at Tenpins & More.