"Congratulations! Your fine performance in Local Qualifying has earned you a spot in the 1992 TEAM USA state championships."
That the was opening sentence in a May 27 letter to Jason Barnard of Havre de Grace. Barnard, a 17-year-old senior at Havre de Grace High School, is the son of Nance and Ed Barnard.
The captain and midfielder on his high school lacrosse team also bowls in the Young America Bowling Alliance League at Harford Lanes in Aberdeen, and works at Forest Hills Bowling Center.
Barnard, who started bowling when he was 5, averages in the 190s. He's thrown a 300 game and has a career-high series of 758.
That 758 series came in the 1992 TEAM USA state championships at Country Club Lanes in Baltimore, held June 27-28. As in all TEAM USA state tourneys, the lanes were dressed with a minimum of five units of dressing (from edge board to edge board) to at least 30 feet from the foul line.
Winning the All Events Scratch in the local YABA tournament earned Barnard a spot in the tournament.
On the tournament's first day, he fired games of 161, 173, 185, 236, 202, 212, 210 and 208. That's a 198 average, good enough for third place.
Sunday, Barnard opened up with his big guns: 192, 180, 151, 227, 254, 277, 277 and 203. That added up to a fantastic 220 average and thrust him into second place. The strong finish makes him the alternate for the national event in San Diego.
While Barnard was finishing second in the TEAM USA competition, a bunch of youth bowlers from Harford were tearing up the Maryland State Young American Bowlers Alliance Championship Tournament at Dual Lanes in Hagerstown, over four weekends in May.
* In the Major Boys Division, the No. 111 team from Aberdeen Proving Ground (Timothy Hartwig, Steve Church, Ed Fissel Jr. and Jim Townsend took first place with a pin fall of 2,651.
* Tammy Raab dropped 1,951 pins to win the Major Girls Handicap All Events.
L * Kristy Smith won the Junior Girls Singles Series with 633.
* Erica Turner, in the Prep Girls division, captured the All Events Scratch with a total of 1,352.
Raab and Smith bowl at Forest Hill Lanes in the YABA leagues.
"I'm really proud of those two girls. They bowled great," said Dick Dare, Forest Hill manager.
Raab, a Bel Air High graduate, will attend Essex Community College this fall. She comes from a bowling family: Her mother and father, Jo Ann and Gerry, carry averages of 120 and 152, respectively, and her sister, Laura, 16, averages 120. Laura first interested Tammy in bowling, and now Tammy is looking forward to a collegiate career at ECC.
Turner, a 12-year-old who lives in Edgewood with her parents, Hazel and Maris, does her league bowling at Harford Lanes in Aberdeen. With a 145 average, a high game of 240 and a high series of 545, the Edgewood Middle School seventh-grader can look forward to a great bowling career.
"She's a competitor," her mother said. "She doesn't like to lose."
It seems that's a feeling shared by all the young Harford bowlers.