The Indianapolis Colts were without a doubt the hottest sports story in the Wabash Valley last Sunday with their 30-17 come-from-behind victory over the New York Jets in the AFC Championship Game.
But did you know bowling was right up there with the Colts, Jets, Saints and Vikings in the national media spotlight earlier in the day? Say what?
If you missed it, female professional bowler Kelly Kulick defeated Chris Barnes 265-195 in the championship game of the Professional Bowlers Association Tournament of Champions. The victory marked the first female to win a PBA national tour event in, well, ever.
This was not just a one-game exhibition match. Kulick defeated eight-time PBA Tour champion Mika Koivuniemi 227-223 prior to topping Barnes, a 12-time PBA Tour champion, in the title match.
Arguably, Kulick was already in the equation as one of the best female bowlers in the world. Last Sunday, Kulick was the best bowler — period, exclamation point — in the world.
Kulick’s feat drew the second-largest television audience in 10 years for the sport of bowling. The national telecast on ESPN drew a 1.52 Nielsen rating (more than 1.7 million viewers).
Kulick competed at the Terre Haute Bowling Center several times when the Women’s Professional Bowlers Tour made an annual stop in Terre Haute.
Bowling news from around the Wabash Valley:
• Scott Johansen rolled a 300 game during the Wabash Valley High School Travel League’s monthly singles tournament at Vigo Bowl on Jan. 16. Johansen, a member of the South Vermillion bowling team, also had games of 277 and 268 for a 845 three-game series.
• DeWayne Perry won the first annual Terre Haute Sport Shot Scholarship Open at Vigo Bowl recently.
Rounding out the top four were Peyton Dwyer, Jocelyn Green and Ciera Harris. Evan Sego had high game of 288 and Eli Perry had high three-game series of 731.
Mark your calendar for the second annual tournament, coming on Jan. 8-9, 2011.
Other scholarship winners included: Robert (A.J.) Bevard, Morgan Boehler, Cameron Bollinger, C.J. Brooks, Nate Lewis Cole, Seth Conwell, Taylor Davis, Levi Elrod, Kyle Fenton, Richard Fields, Zack Fields, Fred Forsman, Cameron Frye, Scott Johansen, Cody Kosinski, Kyle Lawrence, Robert Munoz, Audrey Nelson, Douglas Pierce, Johnathon Poe, Kaitlyn Poe, Kara Kingham, Cody Shaw, Adam Smith, Kianna Sweatt, Siera Tanner, Jacob Vencel, Cole Walker, Dylan Wilson and Nick Young.
• Brian Taylor rolled a 300 game and Amanda Taylor added an 808 three-game series (275-256-277) to lead their four-person team, which also included Rob Dunfee and James Sullivan, in winning the Vigo Bowl Mini Team Shootout on Jan. 24.
Second-place team was Melinda Chance, Fred Modesitt, Mandy Wilkins and Matt Wilkins. Amanda Taylor had the high average at 269.3, while Brian Taylor was second at 254.3.
• DeBaun Funeral Homes is a new four-team league at the Bowling Center, finishing its fourth week of competition recently.
That’s not too exciting, but what is interesting are the team names — at least three of the four teams — Drop Dead Freds, 6 Foot Unders and Palliative Pins. The fourth team needs to be a little more creative. Team 4? Come on.
• If watching, and watching, and watching Super Bowl pregame shows is not your cup of tea, there are two Super Bowl bowling tournaments on Feb. 7 in Terre Haute.
The longest running Super Bowl event (VII) — seven if you’re not Roman numeral fluent — is at Imperial Lanes. But it is already full, another tournament tradition, with a waiting list of 62 bowlers according to tournament director Chad Klopfenstein.
This event starts at 10 a.m. and features 80 bowlers in a A-B-C-D format, bowling two sets of three games with a big meal spread between sessions.
A second choice is the Super Bowl Handicap Sweeper at Vigo Bowl with the unusual starting time of 3:58 p.m. on Feb. 7. This is a handicap event (90 percent of 210) and cost is $30 per bowler.
Again, bowlers will roll two sets of three games with a meal between sessions. Prize money will be distributed at halftime of the Super Bowl.
Of course, bowlers can view the Super Bowl at both venues.
Dennis Clark can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.
Terre Haute Bowling Center
Savannah’s Trophy House — High games: John P. Walton 278, Robyn Lugar 227, Schrader Well 823. High series: Walton 680, Lugar 604, 3 Rights and Lefty 2,211.
ANG Mixed — High games: Estel Nightingale 235, Marsha Marcum 199, Hair Gallery 707. High series: Nightingale 667, Jodi Moan 571, Hair Gallery and JR Trophies 1,985.
Monday Prime Timers — High games: Dale Liggett 233, Pat Montgomery 209. High series: Woody Ferris 645, Montgomery 520.
Russ Fisher Truck Parts — High games: Luke Ruble 279, Cinema Box Office Rehab 1,115. High series: Ruble 724, Sweet 16 3,100.
THBC Minors — High games: John Barbour 196, Rachael Goekler 99. High series: Barbour 368, Goekler 243.
THBC Majors — High games: Dillon Furry 256, Mack Pepper 192. High series: Rodney Lockman 635, Pepper 564.
Wednesday Prime Timers — High games: Gary Busiere 236, Jean Liggett 180. High series: Jay Scamihorn 621, Sharon Cook 501.
Wabash Valley Christian — High games: Dan Hunt 246, Roni Hawkins and Janet Swalls 171, Central Christian II 704. High series: Hunt 653, Jana Strain 442, Central Christian II 2,067.
Nancy’s Song Bird Karaoke — High games: Nancy Effner 232, THBC 909. High series: Effner 603, THBC 2,469.
Guarantee Roofing — High games: Josh Snowden 287, Bowling Ball Garage 1,139. High series: Snowden 735, Bowling Ball Garage 3,145.
Monday Mixed — High games: Jerry Wence 248, Diana Waggoner 192, Lucky Bunch 764. High series: Wence 659, D.Waggoner 496, The Pinpricks 2,139.
Thursday Senior Mixed — High games: Herb Gosnell 269, Sue Chandler 279, Cobras 875. High series: Richard Stephens 714, Chandler 649, Cobras 2,421.
Bell Welding — High games: Doug Smith 288, Ashley Heubel 210, Nina’s Tavern 1,012. High series: Smith 729, Pam Wilkins 537, Nina’s Tavern 2,961.
Eagles Mixed — High games: Lenny Selvia Jr. 288, Crystal Sullivan 258, My Dixie Wrecked 827. High series: Lonnie Pharris 666, Sullivan 697, My Dixie Wrecked 2,206.
Distributor’s Terminal — High games: Sandy Kelly 197, M&M;’s 652. High series: Kelly 543, M&M;’s 1,909.
Mic’s Pics — High games: Jeri Russell 223, Vigo Bowl 517. High series: Ashley Wills 550, Bowling Belles 1,471.
Monday Mixed Bush — High games: RIchie Rich and Steve Lang 289, Mandy Wilkins 268, Lang’s Body Shop Part 2 1,182. High series: David Elder 763, Wilkins 691, Stuckey’s 3,394.
School Staff — High games: Rick Petty 218, Merri Farrar 240, South Vigo 800. High series: Matt Lugar 581, Farrar 592, Union Hospital 2,045.
DeBaun Funeral Homes — High games: Charlie Pender 184, Jan 144, 6 Foot Unders 542. High series: Pender 492, Jan 355, 6 Foot Unders 1,489.
Vigo Bowl Wednesday Youth — High games: Eli Perry 223, Sara Sebring 233, Abel 558. High series: Perry 620, Sebring 566, Abel 1,568.
Vigo Bowl Bantams — High games: Logan Murphy 97, Morgan Adams 74, Dark Dragons 289. High series: Murphy 156, Adams 140, Dark Dragons 509.
Vigo Bowl Preps — High games: Brendon Cooper 150, Katie Shryock 125, The Pin Eaters 550. High series: Troy Wright 357, Shryock 319, The Pin Eaters 1,443.
Vigo Bowl Juniors — High games: Dewayne Perry 179, Caitlyn Bruce 189, Team 3 669. High series: C.J. Brooks 501, Bruce 437, Team 3 1,994.
Vigo Bowl Seniors — High games: Eli Perry 278, Amanda Perry 200, Beaks 885. High series: E.Perry 717, A.Perry 535, Beaks 2,635.
Savannah’s Trophy House — High games: Karen Prettyman 269, UR Up 894. High series: Prettyman 655, UR Up 2,395.
CBM Monday Mixed — High games: Bob Harvey 279, Mysti Fisher 232, Chicos Bail Bonds 836. High series: Stu Johnson 626, Fisher 657.
Archie’s Tuesday Men — High games: Don Alumbaugh 266, Birdies 1,074. High series: Darrell Davis 720.
Tuesday Ladies — High games: Angela French 164, Whatever 306. High series: Phyllis Grover 424.
Kirby Risk Wednesday — High games: Jason Hiddle 289, Lyndsay Chandler 242, Sandcut Tavern 1,103. High series: Hiddle 719, Chandler 586.
Al’s Sports Bar Thursday Mixed — High games: Trey Minett 288, Mysti Fisher 218, Fluffy Pillows 1,078. High series: Minett 744, Fisher 538.
Elks Thursday Men — High games: Bill Chance 257, McGuire Excavating 1,012. High series: Chance 749.