The girls of the College Park Boys and Girls Club junior duckpin bowling team earned their summer vacation last month when they brought home their second straight national championship.
While the five members of the 13- to 15-year-old squad seem ready to take a break from the lanes for a while, it is only so they can pursue other athletic interests. For example, all five girls - Maureen Foley, Lisa Bennett, Lissa Bentley, Joan McKenna and Sindi Badurski - now compete in the club's softball league.
"We just bowl duckpins during the season," said Foley, 14, of 9611 50th Place, College Park. "I have a lot of other things to do. I play softball. I play basketball. I play volleyball in the summer."
The girls retained their National Duckpin Youth Association title by some clutch bowling in both the regional and national competitions. In the Metropolitan Washington tournament last April, each member greatly exceeded her regular season average, enabling the quintet to survive a field of 102 teams and move to the national tournament.
Badurski, 13, of 5017 Geronimo St., College Park, who carries the lowest per game average on the team with 98, led the quintet with a total score of 367 for a three-game series (known as a triple in bowling parlance). Bentley, 15, of 5116 Iroquios St., College Park, who averages 100 per game, followed closely with 366. Then came Bennett (101 average) with 351, McKenna (99) with 341, and Foley (104) with 335, for a combined total of 1,760. Including the 348-pin team handicap, the team's winning total was 2,108.
"When usually four of us bowl our average, one girl really carries us by bowling great," said Foley.
"We practice a lot. We always bowl well in tournaments," said McKenna, 16, of 9707 51st Pl., College Park. "I bowl better under pressure. I do everything better under pressure. I always feel that way."
At the national tournament in Providence, R.I., it was McKenna, 16, who provided the lift by rolling her best career triple, 385. Badurski bowled 333; Bennett, 327; Foley, 322, and Bentley, 286. The combined total of 1,653, plus the 348 handicap, gave the team a four-pin victory over the Reisterstown, Md., team. With its handicap of 267, the Reisterstown total was 1,997.
The girls raised money for the trip by holding weekly bake sales at their home bowling alley, College Park Fair Lanes.
To cap the season, Badurski finished sixth in a field of 36 finalists for the Baltimore-Washington Duckpin Youth Invitational June 27-July 1. In the same event, Foley finished 10th; McKenna, 15th; Bennett, 16th, and Bentley, 17th.
"There are some people that like competition. It's like a drive in them," said Norma Rogers, who has been commissioner of bowling for the club for the past 10 years. "I really don't know what it is about them. They just click."
The College Park Boys and Girls Club had 14 teams with 150 girls and boys who paid $2 per week to participate in the season that just ended. The club also had another championship team at the bantam (10- to 12-year-old) level where the squad of Mary Hughes, Liz Templeton, Terri Viands, Susie Wiseman and Donna Althen rolled to the Metropolitan Washington title.
The junior girls plan to remain together next season, although they will move to the "majors" level. "We're used to bowling together," Badurski said. "I think we can win again because we work hard together.We have a lot of fun together. We never get into arguments or anything."