Miami Valley Tournaments a hit with Dayton bowlers

Kyle Cook isn’t one to turn down competition or the opportunity to bring home some prize money.

“Any time there is a chance to compete, especially close to home, I’ll take it,” Cook said. “Over the last year, I’ve probably bowled just about every weekend somewhere.”

Until recently, Cook frequently ventured out of the area — to Cincinnati or other nearby cities — to bowl. But the 23-year-old Centerville resident has been able to stay closer to home, competing in the first two events of the recently created Miami Valley Tournaments. Cook won the MVT Season Kickoff No-Tap and the doubles tournament, with partner Daniel Ashenbaum.

“Especially for local bowlers, this is a great opportunity to compete,” he said. “It’s something I could really see taking off.”

That’s exactly what tournament director Jenny Martin likes to hear.

“We want to run tournaments that Dayton bowlers want to bowl in,” Martin said. “We want to hear the bowlers’ opinions and suggestions. I have already reached out to bowlers who have participated in our tournaments asking their thoughts.”

Miami Valley Tournaments, which got its start this summer, is the brainchild of Martin, who has spent more than two decades working in the bowling industry in Dayton.

“This is something that a few of my bowling friends and I had talked about doing for years,” she said. “Dayton is such a great bowling town and we knew that so many of our bowlers are traveling to Columbus, Cincinnati and Kentucky to compete in various bowling events. We wanted to give Dayton bowlers something to bowl in Dayton.”

Longtime bowler Jimmy Segi thinks these tournaments fill a void.

“I talk to bowlers who don’t want to go out of town, but they didn’t have many other options,” Segi said. “This gives us something to bowl that’s local and reasonably priced.”

The no-tap event was held at Poelking Woodman Lanes in late August with 22 entries. The number increased to 30 for the doubles tournament in September at Poelking South.

“We simply want to see the numbers grow,” Martin said.

Future tournament possibilities include adult/youth, Baker, senior, scratch and fun mixed doubles. The Women’s Invitational Tournament, a scratch event open to Ohio women who average 170 or more, is already slated for Dec. 3 with an entry into the state Queens Tournament awarded to the champion.

“We are also open to new ideas from the bowlers,” Martin said. “We want to create quality and fun tournaments so that bowlers of all skill levels can get the tournament experience.”

Martin welcomes suggestions and tournament ideas via email at or through the Miami Valley Tournaments Facebook page.

“I think when people get out and bowl these, they will find out how fun they are,” Segi said.

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