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ACRI: Annual Strike-a-thon set for April 18

Published 7:49 pm, Monday, April 5, 2010
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One is a true legend in the sport of bowling, and the other two are the hottest properties on the bowling scene right now.

The legend is Nelson "Bo" Burton Jr., and the other two are Kelly Kulick and Diandra Asbaty. They will demonstrate their highly honed bowling skills on Sunday, April 18 at Brookfield Lanes in the Frank Bacon Memorial Strike-a-thon.

Burton, a mainstay at the Strike-a-thon, is as close to a living legend as any sport has. During a career that started in the early 1960s, Bo has amassed 17 titles on the PBA tour as well as nine USBC (formerly American Bowling Congress) titles.

Bo spent almost 25 years as the tour's color analyst on ABC Television's Professional Bowling Telecasts, and was twice nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Sports Analyst on TV.

He has better than 25 perfect games to his credit and has an all-time high three game series of 869. During last year's bowling season he also bowled a 279 triplicate, no easy feat. Two years ago he set a Florida State record by averaging 247 for 105 games during the regular bowling season.

Bo is a member of both the PBA and the USBC Halls of Fame and in 1984 he set the all-time four game series TV record at The Rolaids Open, bowling 278-279-257-236 for a total of 1,050, a remarkable 262 average.

They say that records are made to be broken, but I will bet that no one will ever break Bo's record of having attended every Strike-a-thon over the past 26 years.

Kulick made bowling history in January of 2010 by winning the PBA Tournament of Champions, beating Chris Barnes in the final match 265-195. For her efforts, she was featured on many TV programs and sports shows and she was also invited to the White House in March to participate in the Women of History Dinner.

She qualified for the TOC by winning the PBA Women's World Championship on Sept. 5, defeating Shannon Pluhowsky, 219-204

She has been a six time Team USA member and a two time Junior Team USA member. In 2001 she was the Professional Women's Bowling Association Rookie of the Year. Her first title was the US Women's Open (2003) and her second was the 2007 USBC Queens.

Kelly was the first woman to earn a PBA Tour Exemption by bowling a 300 on the final day of the 2006 PBA Tour Trials.

Asbaty will be making her second Strike-a-thon appearance (2008). Diandra made some history of her own this season by winning the Bayer Don and Paula Carter Mixed Doubles Championship. Her partner was the great Brian Voss, who has also attended the Strike-a-thon.

Over the years, Diandra has been a Team USA member 11 times and has won over 60 international medals. She is a member of the World Bowling Hall of Fame and was world Bowler of the Year in 2006 and 2007.

In winning the Bayer Mixed Doubles, she now has two Women's Series titles to her credit, and she is a six time World Champion in international events.

At the University of Nebraska, she was a member of the collegiate national title teams in 1999 and 2001.

Slated to bowl one game each with these stars, by virtue of placing in the Bowl with the Pro's qualifier are Roger Bates Sr. (828), Dennis Davis (770), Kent Jacobson (769), Joe Acocella Jr. (756), Anthony Valentine (756 -- see below), Dave Miller (755), Roger Bates, Jr. (747), Scott Kilhenny (740) and Irving Fox (721). All these scores are with handicap.

Don't miss the fun April 18, at Brookfield Lanes. Admission is free and proceeds go to the Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut.

n Records, indeed are made to be broken, and Anthony Valentine came awfully close to a new Association high when he bowled an 856 set on March 18 at Lore's Lanes in the Thursday Night Men's League. Valentine's scores of 299-257-300-856 missed the mark by a mere 12 pins.

A 25-year-old righty, Valentine already has 12 800 sets with 15 perfect games, five as a junior bowler and 10 in adult leagues.

Across two leagues this year, Valentine averages better than 236, with a 236.8 in the Bertilson League (where he shot an 846 earlier this year) and 236.2 at Lore's Lanes

n Also bowling great recently at Lore's were Peter Guiffre (299), Tyson Hardie (300), Michelle Brown (749) and Wendy Weiss (715).

At Carmel Bowl, 300 games were done by Dennis Pigat, Joe Minello, John Luhrs and Wayne Frick.

Contact Frank Acri at frankacri@sbcglobal.net.