There's a new boy on the block. Well, an old boy, but with new parents. The Baltimore division of the Amateur Bowlers Tour is in action again, this time with new directors.
Ernest and Henriette "Henry" Smith started operating the ABT Baltimore division in June. There was a grand reopening tournament at Country Club Lanes, and now the tournaments are in full-swing.
Membership in ABT costs $25 for the first year, and carries entry fees of $35-$37 per tournament. New members receive a bowling shirt. The tournaments are sanctioned by the American Bowling Congress and the Women's International Bowling Congress.
Membership is open to amateur bowlers with averages below 189. Handicaps are 70 percent of 195 -- if your average increases above 195 you're dropped from the rolls.
"We guarantee a $1,000 first prize," Henry Smith said. "And we're doing everything we can to see that the bowlers have a good time."
It's a simple philosophy that seems to be working just great. August 7-9 at Brunswick Columbia, the tournament drew over 100 entries. That's awesome for an operation less than 2 months old.
That tournament was won by William Meeks of Baltimore. Columbia resident Tim Overby captured second place and a check for $500; Steve Flowers, of Columbia, picked up the third-place check of $200; Valerie Alison, of Baltimore, received $150 for her fourth-place finish; and fifth place went to Charles Clatterbuck of Baltimore, and was good for $100.
"The 'new' ABT is great," Steve Flowers said. "It's organized the way it should be, and all the bowlers that I talk to thought it was a great tournament."
Flowers bowls Thursday nights in the High Flyers league at Columbia and the Saturday Mixed league at Fair Lanes Woodlawn. Flowers carries a 180 average with a career high game of 270 and a 678 high series. Flowers and his wife, Darlene, a 145-average bowler, are no strangers to ABT tournaments. Steve has been bowling with the ABT for about six years and in April won a championship at Columbia.
Valerie Alison, who works for Baltimore Gas and Electric, was the first woman to win an ABT championship in the Baltimore division. She's added another first-place finish to that one. Bowling for over 30 years, Valerie is used to bowling in tournaments and winning. Originally from New York state, she makes her home in Baltimore and bowls in the Thursday Guys and Gals league at Bowl America Reisterstown and the Sunday Holiday Spa league at Country Club lanes. Throwing a 14 1/2 -pound Hammer ball, Alison has a career high game of 265 and a high series of 645. Her average is 169.
"The new directorship of the ABT is doing a great job," she said. "It's a family oriented operation that wants everyone to have a good time."
A new season is just a few weeks away, so it's a good time for some advice from the American Physical Therapy Association.
Thick and thin, young and old, hundreds of thousands of Americans strain, sprain or permanently injure their bodies through improper exercise.
Physical therapists recommend the following tips for aging athletes and young "weekend warriors" alike.
* Be realistic. If you haven't exercised regularly since you were a kid, don't attempt to pick up where you left off.
* Warm up and cool down. Start slowly. End your workout with a period of slower activity.
* Listen to your body. If you feel pain, stop. The sooner your problem is treated, the sooner you can get moving again.
If you haven't signed up for a league this bowling season, better hurry; it's getting late. For information at bowling centers in Howard County, call:
jTC * Debbie Damron, manager at Brunswick Columbia, 381-7750.
* Carol Malinowski, manager at Brunswick Normandy, 465-0355.
Have a great season, folks!