Kettering bowler wins pair of state titles

Two days of competition, two different centers and two state titles — it was a banner weekend of bowling for Andrea Behr.

The Kettering bowler won both the doubles actual and the five-person actual team title at the 92nd Ohio USBC Women’s Bowling Association State Championship, which wrapped up in June. The pair of titles brought her state tournament tally up to five in the past five years.

“It’s definitely not any less exciting than the first one,” Behr said. “Who doesn’t enjoy winning – especially at the state level, in a state that has so many amazing bowlers.”

Winning is becoming a habit for the championship team which included Lauren Paige, Heidi Sanders, Ashley Bryant and Jamie Beard. Behr, Paige Sanders and Bryant won the state team title last year – Beard was a new addition this year.

While camaraderie likely contributed to the team crown, Behr also fared well with a complete stranger as she met doubles partner Brooke Summers, of Toledo, just before the two started bowling.

“We just clicked,” Behr said. “She bowled great and we ended up meshing well.”

After jumping to the top of the leaderboard, Behr and her teammates had several weeks to wait as the state tournament – held this year in Springfield at Northridge and Victory lanes – ran from March 17-June 3. More than 700 bowlers competed in this year’s event.

“I try not to expect too much because there’s such good competition in Dayton, much less the state,” Behr said. “So, to get the win was amazing. It’s always exciting and humbling.”

Tournament wins have taken on even more meaning over the past year, as Behr became a first-time mom in January 2017. More time with Bradley – now almost 18 months – means less time on the lanes.

“I love being a mom and still being able to compete, but I definitely haven’t been able to put in as much time as I used to on my game,” she said. “Obviously my priorities have shifted. Bowling is not quite as important because he’s my No. 1.”

While the 35-year-old working mom has cut back a bit on league bowling to spend more time with her son, her competitive streak is still as strong as ever.

“Balance is important, but I also think it’s important to show my son that I can be a mom and still be successful,” she said. “I’m very proud of that.”

Ohio USBC WBA State Tournament – Local Champions

All-events handicap and actual: Shannon Pluhowsky, 2,381

Singles actual: Shannon Pluhowsky, 813

Doubles actual: Andrea Behr/Brooke Summers (Toledo), 1,422

Four-person team actual: Jennifer Owens, Candace Shepard, Kari Watson, Rachael Delserone (Lorain), 2,744

Five-person team actual: Andrea Behr, Lauren Paige, Heidi Sanders, Jamie Beard, Ashley Bryant, 3,141

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