WILKES-BARRE – Chloe Sromovski found herself in a head-to-head battle with Kristin Womelsdorf as the only competitors in the 16-20-year-old female scratch division of the Keystone State Games bowling competition.
With only one competitor to beat, but a quality one at that, Sromovski claimed her gold medal by putting up a score that would have had the potential to get past a much larger field.
The 16-year-old from Wilkes-Barre, who is going into her junior year at GAR, fired a three-game series of 737 Saturday morning to claim the title at Chacko’s Family Bowling Center.
Sromovski said she did not need any significant adjustments in her line through three games Friday, that was technically qualifying, and Saturday’s series that decided the title.
“I had my shot down and in, so I pretty much had it (Friday) and (Saturday),” said Sromovski, who is currently carrying a 207 average.
Sromovski opened a 93-pin lead through two games by following up a 235 opening game with 265 in the second game. She opened with five straight strikes, had a split in the sixth frame, then strikes in every remaining frame.
Womeldorf finished with a 277 for a 684 series, but Sromovski’s 237 finish secured the title.
Sromovski started bowling when she was 4, going to Stanton Lanes. She switched to the junior league at Chacko’s when she was 13 and bowls there about four times a week.
The junior bowlers at Chacko’s made up a significant portion of the youth field of 14 entries in seven divisions.
Damian Napierowski, a 13-year-old from Shavertown, won the largest division and the only one in which the field was trimmed by Friday results.
A group of six was cut to five finalists in the 12-15-year-old Male Handicap division, then they decided the title Saturday.
Napierowski, who has a 151 average, put together games of 190, 194 and 147 to add to his 165 handicap for a winning total of 696.
“I’ve been figuring out my mark easier,” said Napierowski, who improved 19 pins over Friday. “I had to move a little bit, but it wasn’t bad.”
Logan Visneski from Lake Twp. was second with 487-168-655. Napierowski’s brother Blaise took the bronze with 466-183-649.
Jeremy Hospodar had led qualifying with 382-327-709 Friday.
While the championship was being decided at King’s College, the rest of the places were determined at other fields.
West-2 defeated Blue Mountain, 8-5, at the Pittston Area Primary Center in Hughestown for the bronze medal. West-2 won its final three games after going 0-2 Thursday.
Lehigh Valley defeated Pocono-2, 10-2, at Hilldale Field in Plains for fifth place.
Pocono-2, made up entirely of players entering their sophomore or freshmen years, spent most of the week playing teams made up primarily of seniors and juniors.
“For a team made up of all ninth and 10th graders, we did great,” Pocono-2 head coach John Konopki said.
Pocono-2 remained within, 4-2, through 5 ½ innings before being short on available pitching in the fifth game in three days caught up to the team.
Jake McMillan had a double for the team’s only extra-base hit Saturday.
Todd Kolbicka made several strong defensive plays at shortstop.
Andrew Webb finished in 22:33 to win the 5K for the United Way, a first-time event held in conjunction with the Keystone State Games Saturday morning.
Tiffany Leventhal was the first female finisher in 23:03.