The Baltimore Young American Bowling Allianc Championship Tournament, conducted last month over two weekends at Fair Lanes Southdale, drew the finest youth bowlers in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
A team from Brunswick Columbia won the Junior Mixed team event. Latonya Brewington, Robin Shipman, Daisy Tillman and Brian Palmer knocked down 2,444 pins to claim the crown.
All of the youngsters are members of the Saturday morning YABA league at Columbia; the three girls are on the same team on Saturday mornings. Palmer was recruited from another team so they could bowl in a mixed event.
Brewington, 14, lives in Columbia with her mother, Patricia Goines, and attends Howard High. Interested in basketball and football as well as bowling, she carries a 138 average after three years of competing.
Throwing an 11-pound Ebonite ball, Brewington has a career-high game of 208 and a high set of 526.
"She has been constantly improving since the seventh grade," her mother said.
Goines carries a 159 average in two leagues, Monday and Saturday, and Latonya said, "Yeah, my mom coaches me a lot. That's one of the things I like about bowling, both my mother and I can do it. Bowling isn't just for professionals, it's for everybody."
Shipman, 13, is an eighth-grader at Oakland Mills Middle School. She lives in Columbia with her parents, Claudia and Greg Shipman, and started bowling about three years ago.
She uses a 13-pound ball to maintain a 120 average; she has a 183 career-high game.
"Robin needed some sort of activity on the weekends," Claudia Shipman said. "And since both I and her brother, Greg, bowl it was natural for her start bowling in the Saturday morning league at Columbia."
Tillman wasn't satisfied to bring home just the team trophy. She posted a 672 score in the Junior Girls individual event to capture first place there, too.
Those trophies will join the one she won in a YABA tournament in December 1992 when she won the handicap Junior/Senior division singles championship.
Tillman's been bowling less than two years, but she carries a 127 average and has a high game of 185, a high set of 428.
The eighth-grader at Mayfield Middle School lives in Columbia with her parents, Daisy and Frederick Tillman. Her other interests are ice skating and basketball.
"She's getting better all the time," her mother said.
Daisy said, "I just love to bowl. And every Saturday my dad's at the center to help me with my game."
Palmer is another youth bowler who gets some help from his parents.
"Both Mom and Dad help me with my game," the freshman at Howard High said. His mother, Sheila, carries a 178 average and his father, William, has a 193 average.
The Ellicott City resident throws a 15-pound Black Hammer ball with a conventional grip for a 148 average. His high game is 246, his high set is 571. The 14-year-old has been bowling for three years and is active in football and track as well as bowling.
"Bowling takes a lot of concentration," he said. "And if you have a bad week you just put it behind you and concentrate a little more the next time."
Because of the storm, Don Vitek's bowling column could not bpublished yesterday. It will resume on its usual day next Sunday.