By Chris Hutchins February 6th, 2024

The 26th Annual Western New York Queen’s Tournament hosted by the Greater Buffalo USBC Association was held at Transit Lanes this past Sunday, February 4th. Women bowlers from across the Western New York area came out to show off their skill across three average divisions. Each division bowled a four game qualifier with the top 5 in each division advancing to compete in a step ladder finals format. A total of 62 bowlers came out to compete.


Division 1 (200 & over avg)

If you were a spectator you were once again reminded that the WNY area has some fantastic women bowlers who can put up the numbers on the scoreboard. Division 1 did not disappoint. Over the four games of qualifying the field leader changed hands each round but it would Haley Carroll throwing a massive 290 in game four to leap from sixth to first to take the top spot. After a slow start Haley fired a 248 and found herself seven pins out of the cut. Her big finish landed her the first seed with a 953 series. Next up was Liz Johnson. In game three only a stone 8 pin would stop her from rolling 300 as she shot scores of 279 and 258 down the stretch to secure the second seed with a 944 set. With consistent game over game scoring Michele Reese would be the three seed with a 918 series with games of 239, 215, 238 and 226. Up next would be Carrie Racsumberger who locked down the four seed with a 915 set with games of 247 and 245 mixed in. Peggy Kuhn fired games of 258 and 245 in the middle of her round to shoot 910 to wrap up the final spot to the step ladders.

Scores of note during qualifying in this division included Tammy Burgstahler (247, 885), Michelle Sterner (232, 235, 873), Andrea Held (258, 868), Nicole Lombombard (233, 849), Stephanie Price (258, 843) and Danielle Dolegala (246).

In game 1 of the stepladder format it would be Racsumberger vs. Kuhn. Carrie got off to quick start as she opened the match with the first three strikes. As the bowlers traded shots Peggy found her groove and ran a five bagger down the stretch to win the match 248-225. Kuhn stayed hot as she opened the match against Michele Reese with a three bagger but it would be Reese who would get the hot hand down the stretch. Throwing the original Idol Reese rolled her way to the win ripping off eight strikes in a row to take the match 269-189. The great look that Michele had in the previous match would suddenly disappear as she ran into a buzz saw in Liz Johnson. After opening nine spare in the first frame Liz ran the table on her way to a 290-169 finish to jump into the final match of the day against Haley Carroll.

In the finals the crowd was treated to a great back and forth match between Carroll and Johnson. Haley started out with a four pin followed by a double as Liz responded with a double of her own. The bowlers would exchange wrap ten pins midway through the match. A double mid game gave Carroll a ten pin lead as Liz left a flat ten in the fifth and a seven pin on a light mixer in the sixth. Johnson was not done, however, as she put ten back in the seventh. Haley had a chance to extend the lead but a stubborn four pin stood tall in the seventh. The door swung open for Liz in the eighth as an errant shot by Carroll dove through the face briefly leaving the 4-6-7 split. At the last moment the six pin dropped after being rolled from behind leaving Haley a makeable spare. Another four pin in the ninth for Haley gave Liz an opportunity to shut her out. Needing to run the last four Liz put a solid shot through the pocket in the ninth for a strike but left a soft ten pin on the next one which left Carroll needing only a mark in the tenth. With a shot that was fluid from release Carroll struck and took the match 225-208 to become your 2024 Division 1 Queen’s Champion.


Division 2 (180-199 avg)

The top qualifier in Division 2 changed hands a few times but it would be Dayna Daugherty jumping into the top spot with an 882 with games of 235 and 243 in games three and four. Madison Rogacki followed with some solid bowling with an 873 series to take the second seed and also shot the highest game in qualifying in the division with a 258. Ysobel Conrad was the three seed as she finished an 860 set with a 247 game. The four seed would be Julie Anne Miller finishing with a 234 to get to 828. Rounding out the top five was Tricia Zemla who rolled a 246 game and an 813 set.

Scores of note in the division included Kimberly Reitmeier (222, 219, 795), Carrie Battel (227, 791), Sara Greck (223) and Samantha Stachura-Lee (226).

The first round of the step ladders saw Zemla vs Miller. Both bowlers started off strong but down the stretch Zemla could not catch any breaks. Miller was able to put a three bagger together early in the match along with a double and advanced 214-175. The next match saw Julie Anne put four strikes together to take the lead but a missed four pin in the ninth gave Conrad new life. Ysobel ran the last four to finish the match 226-212. Conrad continued to have the hot hand in match number three. Madison put together a three bagger mid game but Ysobel doubled that count with six strikes in a row as she defeated Rogacki 258-200.

With Conrad rolling hot Daugherty knew she would have her hands full. Dayna came out firing as she opened with the first four strikes. Conrad battled back and did a little walk out and fist pump with a smoked strike in the fifth frame. The bowlers traded spares for the next few frames in the middle of the match and Dayna broke up a split during that stretch. In the ninth Conrad pulled the ripcord on a strike that sent all ten flying into the pit. Daugherty responded with strike to match. Needing them all in the tenth to have a chance Ysobel tried to lean into one on her first shot in the tenth but the ten pin stood tall on a light mixer hit. Dayna stepped up in the tenth and fired away, sending her arms up in the air as the ball traveled through the pocket for a strike and the win. Daugherty became your Division 2 Queen’s Champion with a 235-194 victory.


Division 3 (179 & Under Avg)

The Division 3 group

Kelly Hahn began the day with a 212 and led the field after game one but it would be Alexis Klenke taking over after game two and remained in the top position the rest of the way. Showing consistency throughout qualifying Klenke rolled an 822 set with games of 198, 192, 219 and 213. Hahn would take the second seed finishing with a 211 and a 785 series. Last year’s 2023 Queens runner up Judy Langworthy shot her way into the three seed with a 778 set powered by games of 202, 209 and 212. The four seed went to Patricia Schultz who opened with a 204 and finished with a 203 and a 745 series. Angela Braun secured the fifth and final spot with a 739 set as she rolled the highest game of the day in the division with a 242.

Scores of note in the division included Tamara Applewhite (193, 203), Angelica McKenzie (194, 202), Tina Hutchins (218) and Maitland Langworthy (191).

The step ladder began with a feisty Patricia Schultz taking on Angela Braun. Schultz looked to keep the momentum going off her 203 finish in qualifying but just couldn’t seem to get lined up this game. Braun fired two three baggers and took the match 188-146. Up next Judy Langworthy. Judy fell just short of winning in the previous year but returned to have another chance at the title. Both bowlers struggled early. Langworthy appeared to gain the upper hand with a double in the sixth and seventh but Braun answered with a double of her own. It would be Langworthy running a triple in the ninth and tenth frames to win the match 197-181. Judy kept the strikes going in her match against Kelly Hahn. Opening with a four strikes Judy looked to run away with the match as Kelly struggled early. Hahn was not donehowever and forced the issue with a four bagger to force Judy to make some shots. Judy struck in the tenth to securethe win 222-204.

In the finals Alexis Klenke got off to a rough start. Starting out with a missed spare and split Klenke dug a hole early as Langworthy opened with a double. Alexis got on the board in the third with a strike and converted the bucket in the fourth. Judy was able to mix in a few spares along with another strike in the middle of the match. Alexis had another split in the sixth and it appeared the match was slipping away for her. Judy chopped the six-ten and followed with a split that opened the door back up for Alexis. With new life Klenke came roaring back with three strikes and followed with a fourth to open the tenth frame. A “woohoo” rang out from the crowd as she won the match 189-159 to become the Division 3 Queen’s Champion.

Congratulations to our three Queen’s champions as well as to the bowlers who made the cut in a very talented field. We would like to thank all who came out to compete, those who came out to watch, the associations as well as the staff at Transit Lane for hosting this great event. We would also like to thank our sponsors Bowlers Choice Pro Shop and Mr. & Mrs. Catering Service. Their continued dedication to support this tournament allows the ladies of WNY to compete and showcase their bowling skills for all of us to enjoy. We look forward to seeing you next year as the Tonawandas USBC will be the host with the tournament tentatively scheduled for February 2nd, 2025.