The third time is charmed.

That's what they say; that's always been the story, always the way it was supposed to be.

The third time is a charm. No ifs, ands or buts. The third time'sa charm.

Claude Sier of Mount Airy doesn't want to hear that cliche any more.


If the third time's a charm, really a charm, why didn't he bowl in the finals of the 14th annual Youth Duckpin Championships at Greenway East in Baltimore last weekend for the title?

In 1989 he made it to the second round before being eliminated.

In 1990, he again made it to the second round before being eliminated.

This year should have been a charm. This was his third tournament coming up and the 22-year-old wouldn't be able to bowl in any more youth tournaments.

He started out like a house afire. In the first round at Greenway in Baltimore, Sier shot games of 144, 127, 149,154 and 149 for a powerful 723 series and the first-place position.

That series averaged to just short of 145. That's great bowling. Was he doing anything different from other years?

"Nope," Sier said. "I was concentrating and using three words to keep me on track; bend, walk, follow-through. It seemed to do the job."

Into the secondround of play, on top. At Westview Lanes, Baltimore County, on July 9, Sier had games of 118, 131, 93, 171 and 131. Notice after a bad game he came back like gangbusters, averaging a 150-plus for the last two games.

Again, doing anything different?

"Not really," Sier said. "I was a little nervous because I was top-seeded. . . . It's a tough position being on top, everyone's gunning for you."

But that 644 series with his first round of 764 gave him a total of 1,367 for the 10 games. And now the third round was being played at Mount Airy Lanes,Claude's home center. It was the last round for qualifying for last Sunday's finals at Greenway East.

This is Sier's third tournament and this is the third round of the third tournament, and he's playing at home, with a hometown crowd to cheer him on to victory.

This is a lock, right?

"I just couldn't seem to get a break," Sier said later. "Even with a great crowd behind me I just couldn't seem to catch a break when I needed it. I'm not making any excuses, but I had a few splits I didn't expect."

Even with the bad breaks, Claudeshot a 192 game and a great 732 series. It just wasn't quite enough.He missed the cut by just 14 pins.

Sier lives in Mount Airy with his mother, Della, and works at Mount Airy Lanes. He carries a 125 average and has a career high game of 209 and high set of 488.

What kind of competitor is Sier? He's the kind of competitor that doesn't make excuses. He's the kind of competitor who, because he was an alternate bowler, was at Greenway East in Baltimore -- 75 miles away fromhis home last Sunday at 10 a.m., ready for a 1 p.m. tournament, justin case.


The 61st annual Duckpin Tournament was at BowlaramaLanes in Norfolk, Va., in May, and a couple of Carroll County bowlers did pretty well.

Brenda Fowler placed 16th in the women's singles event, and Kevin Bowers was 30th in the men's singles event.

Fowler, of Taneytown, bowls both duckpins and tenpins. In Taneytown at Thunderhead Lanes, she carries a 120 average with a high game of 182 and a high set of 493. At Norfolk, with her handicap, she had a 448 series.

Bowers, who as a youth was coached by his dad, Weldon Bowers, hasn't forgotten his early training. He carries a 121 average and has a high game of 206 and a high set of 471.

Bowers, a concrete dispatcher for Thomas, Bennett and Hunter Inc., lives in Westminster with his wife, Tammy. Tammy is a tenpin bowler -- that must make for some interesting conversations.

Bowers started bowling when he was about 6 years old and bowls in the Thursday B-Minor League at Thunderhead Taneytown. In 1989 he was a member of the team that took first place in the national tournament.

Any changes he'd like to see in the tournament?

"For a national tournament, the prize money's not too good," Bowers said. "The tournament was well-run, and I had a good time, but the money could be a little better."

Now, for all you folks who like a little mystery when the results of the 61st annual National Duckpin tournament arrived, there was a triples team listed in 10th place called The Spares Plus from Mount Airy. But no names of the team members. OK, folks, who are they? And why are they hiding?


The next tournament for the Duckpin Professional Bowlers Association will be Aug. 10-11 at Long Meadow Bowl in Hagerstown, WashingtonCounty. First prize is $2,200.

The Women's National Duckpin Association Tournament's next event will take place on Aug. 10-11 at Long Meadow Bowl.


On Feb. 24, Thomas Ferrigno, at Millbrae Bowl near San Francisco, threw the highest triplicate in tenpin history: 280. That's right, three games in a row, all 280's.

Don't call me about Glenn Allison's three 300 games; they were never sanctioned.

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