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Vananzo is on a perfect roll


John Vananzo started bowling with his mother, Margaret, when he was a teen-ager in an youth/adult league at Fair Lanes Edgewood. They're both still bowling.

Margaret Vananzo carries a 163 average and John averages a bit more. Last season he was listed seventh in the Cecil-Harford Counties Bowling Association's Yearbook with 221.

John Vananzo bowls in five leagues -- Saturday it's Fair Lanes Edgewood's new league, Fair Lanes on the Fairway; Monday it's the Classic at Country Club Lanes, Wednesday and Friday, Country Club again then on Thursday it's back to Edgewood.

Using a 15-pound bowling ball John has shot two outstanding three-game series, an 804 and an 807.

And on Feb. 12 in the Edgewood Fair Lanes on the Fairways league, he added to his list of 300 games.

"That was No. 5," said Vananzo, who works for the state and owns about 25 bowling balls.

"Usually I only take seven bowling balls with me," he said with a laugh. "I'll carry four into the center and have another three in the truck if I need 'em."

That's a lot bowling balls, and they'll fit any lane condition that he happens to find. And Vananzo isn't afraid to use whatever equipment the lane condition dictates.

"That Saturday the right lane was exceptionally dry, the left lane had a little more oil," he said. "So I used a Pink Hammer on the right and a new ball, the Columbia Power Torq, on the left lane."

That worked pretty well -- five strikes on one lane, seven on the other and a perfect game.

Unusual tournaments

Dick Dare of Forest Hill Lanes has some tournaments coming up that he's labeled "fun tournaments, a chance to win some money, to be sure, but a chance to have a little fun while you do it."

The St. Patrick's Day Tournament is different.

The tournament will begin on March 17 with one squad at 9:15 p.m. On March 20, the tournament continues with squads at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. That part is pretty simple.

But it gets complicated. A contestant will bowl four games, the first game is 9-no-tap. That's easy, threw a nine count and mark up a strike.

The second game is no-split. Again, pretty simple, leave a split with the first ball and mark up a strike.

Third game is no-spare. That's right, make your spare setup and mark up a strike.

In the fourth and final game of the series, it's all of the above. A nine on the first ball is strike, a split with the first ball is a strike, any spare you pick up is a strike.

Will there be a lot of 300 games thrown? The only way not to throw a 300 in the last game is to count eight or less on your first ball that is not a split and then blow the spare. This is the best chance you're ever going to have to brag about your 300 game.

The entry fee is $22, and the first-place prize money is a guaranteed $500.

For Memorial Day, Dare has scheduled the "Race to the Wall." The entry fee (limited to 120 bowlers) is $50. First prize should be about $2,000.

The format is easy, just different. Each bowler begins on lane No. 1 and throws a single ball, moves on to lane No. 2 and throws one ball, and so on, one ball on each of the 40 lanes, wall-to-wall.

Then you count up the strikes and the tenpin bowler with the most strikes is the winner.

Criss doing well with PBA

Tim Criss of Bel Air continues to hold his own on the Professional Bowlers Association tour.

In the recent $200,000 Quaker State Open in Grand Prairie, Texas, he placed 53rd and cashed for $1,280.

The next week, in the $250,000 Choice Hotel Classic in Edmund, Okla., he finished 18th and won $2,000.

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