Two women boost county image with showing in national tourney

It's special when a county can send one athlete to a national tournament with a chance to represent the United States in international competition. It's almost unbelievable that the same county can send two athletes.

Kendra Cameron and Debra Riefflin were in Minneapolis Aug. 20-26 trying to earn a place on Team USA. Cameron won a spot on the team while Riefflin bowled well but came up short.


Riefflin learned about the tenpin game in the youth program in her hometown of Missoula, Mont.

A major in the U.S. Army field artillery stationed at Fort Meade, Riefflin was a member of the University of Montana team that won the national collegiate title in 1979.


"After that I just bowled for recreation," she said.

But when the 1994 All Army Men's and Women's Bowling Trial Camp was held at Fort Knox, Ky., (where she was stationed), Riefflin stepped back onto the lanes.

She won a place on that team. Bowling six games a day for four days, she averaged 189 for the 24 games. In April, in the Armed DTC Forces Men's and Women's Championship at Camp Lejeune, S.C., she placed third.

In the championship, bowling six games for four days, she averaged 183.

"I wasn't used to the pressure of bowling against the best bowlers in the military," she said, "And I wasn't used to playing six games a day."

Riefflin's bronze medal qualified her for competing in the Team USA Championship.

"There was a tough [lane] condition in Minneapolis," she said. "I averaged 175 but that wasn't enough to make the team. But I'll be ready next year."

Cameron, 21, of Gambrills, operates the pro shop in the same center that Riefflin does her league bowling, Fort Meade Bowling Center.


In the Greater Baltimore Bowling Association City Tournament she qualified for the Team USA state finals. At Country Club Lanes in Baltimore County, she earned the right to compete at Minneapolis.

"The lane condition in Minneapolis was brutal, very, very dry on the inside and soaked from the five board out. If you missed your shot you really missed it," Cameron said. "And, of course, you had some of the best amateur bowlers in the country competing."

How did she handle the tough lane condition?

"Mostly, I used the Beast [bowling ball] or the Ninja Master," she said, "And concentrated."

Her concentration paid off. She won 16 of her 24 matches and secured a position on Team USA.

Starting her career on the lanes before her fifth birthday, Cameron has developed into one of the best amateur women bowlers in the nation.


As a senior at Arundel High, in the youth league at Crofton Bowling Centre, she rolled games of 258, 228 and 214 for a 700 series. That set the house record for women at the Crofton center.

In 1990 she piled up several championships, including the Baltimore Ladies Professional Bowling Tour Pro-Am Senior Youth Championship, American Lung Association Kickin' Butts Women's Championship, the Baltimore Association YABA All-Events Championship and the B.P.O.E. Championship for Area II.

Last season, Cameron was the Baltimore Women's Bowling Association leader in average with 207.

New scratch league

Chuck Kelly, manager of Bowl America Glen Burnie, has a new scratch league forming.

The four-member teams cannot have more than a combined 840 average. The league will bowl at 9 p.m., starting tomorrow.


"I'm trying to get 30 teams on the lanes," Kelly said. "There's 20 ready to go now but if we can get another 10 then the prize package will be for $50,000."

5) For information, call (410) 761-7005.