Bowling: Bryant runner-up at Women’s Queens Championship

The Ohio State USBC Queens Tournament Top 5 were, Jordan Richard (Greater Toledo), Ashley Bryant (Greater Dayton), Lori Reasoner (Greater Dayton), Jen Higgins (Central Ohio) and Andrea Behr (Greater Dayton)
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The Ohio State USBC Queens Tournament Top 5 were, Jordan Richard (Greater Toledo), Ashley Bryant (Greater Dayton), Lori Reasoner (Greater Dayton), Jen Higgins (Central Ohio) and Andrea Behr (Greater Dayton)

Hard work is paying off for Ashley Bryant.

The Dayton bowler was runner-up to Jordan Richard, of Toledo, at the Ohio State United States Bowling Congress Women’s Queens Championship Sunday at Interstate Lanes. While Bryant has bowled in the competitive state event for the past decade, this was a tournament of firsts for the 33-year-old.

“This was the first time I ever made it to the stepladder finals,” she said. “I’ve never been in this position – actually competing for this title. I feel like this is a milestone for me.”

Bryant is no stranger to titles as she won a Dayton city singles championship in 2015 and has two state team titles to her credit. But the caliber of bowlers at the State Queens tournament sets it apart.

“The Queens has some of the best bowlers you will ever see,” Bryant said.

It was a solid showing by Dayton bowlers as three of the top five finishers were from the Greater Dayton USBC. Lori Reasoner placed third and Andrea Behr was fifth. Richard and Jen Higgins, of the Central Ohio Association, rounded out the stepladder finalists.

“I bowl with incredible women in Dayton and they have pushed me to be better,” Bryant said.

Bryant was victorious through the first four rounds of match-play before facing eventual champion Richard who edged out the Dayton bowler by 17 pins, bumping her into the consolation bracket.

Then it was time for Bryant to play spectator as the other stepladder finalists worked their way through the consolation bracket. Reasoner beat our Behr by just three pins, 198-195, in the first match and then dispensed with Higgins, 248-215. But Bryant put an end to Reasoner’s run, 235-229, setting up a rematch against Richard.

While Richard came out on top in the championship match, 245-191, Bryant was thrilled by her finish and the progress she has made. While she has been bowling since she was 5, she only got serious about 10 years ago.

“I realized when I was about 23 or 24 that I had a skill and I wanted to build on that,” she said. “Over the past couple of years, I’ve tweaked some things and made some adjustments.”

Bryant has worked on her timing, ball reaction and her ability to read the lanes. The latter has enabled her to make ball changes sooner.

“It’s so rewarding, seeing everything I put into it pay off,” she said.

Ohio State USBC Queens Tournament Top 5

(Association in parentheses)

1. Jordan Richard (Greater Toledo)

2. Ashley Bryant (Greater Dayton)

3. Lori Reasoner (Greater Dayton)

4. Jen Higgins (Central Ohio)

5. Andrea Behr (Greater Dayton)