Menera, Fields earn BWAA Pezzano Scholarships

June 14, 2006 Michael Menera of Tampa, Fla., and Justine Fields of Roslyn Heights, N.Y., are 2006 recipients of the Bowling Writers Association of America Chuck Pezzano Scholarships.

Menera graduated from Alonso High School and is currently a freshman at St.Petersburg College, majoring in business. He bowled on his high school team starting in the junior year with a 125 average. When he finished high school, he had moved his average up to 180 and bowled his high game of 247. He was in the top nine percent of his graduating class with a GPA of 5.08. Mike also played football, soccer, and was captain of the swimming team in his senior year. He also plays drums in a rock band.

Fields was born in Roslyn, where she will graduate from Roslyn High School June 24. In August, she will attend Cornell University where she will major in communications with the goal of going onto journalism school to start a writing career. Justine has been bowling since she started walking, primarily because her father had a passion for the sport, in which he has rolled three perfect games. She said she became interested in writing after she started bowling, the same time she could grip a pencil.

Both recipients were ecstatic about their BWAA Pezzano recognition and financial assistance, which in past years has been $1,000 each.

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In other news, Tom Baker, King, N.C., was voted the BWAA Kegel Bowler of the Month for May 2006 by a panel of Bowling Writers Association of America members.

Baker, 51, the 2005 BWAA Senior Bowler of the Year, defeated 72-year old Teata Semiz, North Brunswick, N.J., 2-1 in the final three-game match to earn the PBA Senior Chillicothe Open title May 2.

Baker narrowly edged D.J. Archer, Grand Prairie, Texas, who won the 2006 PBA Regional Players Championship in May.

Liz Johnson, Patrick Allen voted BWAA Bowlers of the Year

February 10, 2006 In balloting so close that the swing of just one vote could have changed the outcome, Liz Johnson edged Lynda Barnes for the 2005 Woman Bowler of the Year award, while Patrick Allen easily captured the Men's honor based on voting by the Bowling Writers Association of America.

Using its established system of awarding 5 points for each first place vote, 2 points for second, and 1 point for third, both Johnson and Barnes received 45 first-place votes. Only after second- and third-place votes were factored did Johnson prevail, 303-295, in overall points.

Johnson's success in PBA events in 2005 caught the attention of the sports world far beyond bowling. She advanced from a non-exempt, pre-tournament qualifier to the nationally televised championship match of a tournament in Grand Rapids, Mich., before finishing second to Tommy Jones. Later in the season, the 31-year-old right-hander from Niagara Falls, N.Y., became the first woman to win a PBA regional title and added two second-place finishes in PBA Eastern regional tournaments.

Barnes of Flower Mound, Texas, started her superb year by winning the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship. She took home two silver and two bronze medals from the Women's World Championships, then earned three gold and two silver medals at the American Zone Championships. At season's end, she captured the Qubica/AMF World Cup in Slovenia.

Because Johnson competed primarily in professional events while Barnes maintained an amateur standing, the year's top women rarely played in the same tournaments, perhaps a contributing factor to the almost evenly split election results.

In contrast, Patrick Allen, a left-hander from Tarrytown, N.Y., outpolled Tommy Jones, 473-218, based on a strict comparison of major tournament results and overall prize money. Among Allen's four titles in 2005 was the PBA World Championship. His $348,500 in earnings eclipsed his nearest rival by more than $100,000.

It marked the first BWAA Bowler of the Year Award for both Johnson and Allen.

Also receiving first place votes were Chris Barnes with five and Norm Duke with two. On the women's side, Carolyn Dorin-Ballard received six first-place votes; Leanne Barrette, five; Diandra Asbaty, four; and Tennelle Milligan, one.