Big scores in Emerald Division at 2019 USBC Women's Championships

By Ryne Navarro and Ethan Resh
USBC Communications

- With less than a week remaining at the 100th edition of the United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships, several bowlers in the Emerald Division made a late charge to the top of the standings at Northrock Lanes.

Heather Mooney of Anaheim, California, rolled the best game (268) and series (677) of her career to take over the Emerald Singles lead, and Katherine Green of Nampa, Idaho, and Vicki Harris of Mira Loma, California, combined to post a 1,152 total to secure the lead in Emerald Doubles.

Sheila Bussler of Brownton, Minnesota, had led Emerald Singles since April 26 with 622, while Sonjia Shoemaker of Battle Ground, Washington, and Debie Watkins of Vancouver, Washington, led Emerald Doubles with 1,118.

Mooney originally wasn't slated to bowl the 2019 USBC Women's Championships. She came to Wichita as a substitute with no expectations.

"This is awesome for me," said Mooney, a 44-year-old right-hander. "I had some ladies that I bowl Sunday mornings with ask me to be a sub, and I had a blast. This is the best I've ever done at a tournament."

She rolled games of 188, 268 and 221 to cruise into the top spot by more than 50 pins, and she said concentration was her key to having the best series of her career.

"I concentrated a lot more when I got to singles," said Mooney, who made her second appearance at the Women's Championships. "I knew what line I should be throwing, and I hit it consistently. The results showed."

Mooney also rolled sets of 547 in team and 483 in doubles to move into second in Emerald All-Events with a 1,707 total. Jennifer Henn of Norfolk, Nebraska, leads with 1,751.

Her performance puts her in prime position to claim a title at the event, with the 2019 event closing June 30. Mooney is eager to see if her score will hold on.

"This is amazing," Mooney said. "I'm shocked that I bowled this well, and it made for a really good time. I'm shaking because I'm so excited, but this is huge for me knowing I have a chance to be a part of history."

Emerald Singles and All-Events consists of bowlers with entering averages of 160-174.

062519VickiHarrisKatherineGreen_637Harris and Green had two simple goals for this year's Women's Championships - to have fun and bowl as best as they could.

The duo accomplished both on the way to the top of the standings, led by Harris' games of 198, 240 and 181 for a 619 series. Green added 192, 181 and 160 for a 533 set.

Harris and Green have been doubles partners for many years, always bowling together at their state competition in California, but Green recently moved to Idaho. The Women's Championships helped reunite them for fun on and off the lanes.

"I couldn't wait to bowl with my bestie," Green said. "Since we can't bowl together in the state tournament anymore, we figured this would be a great place to be able to meet up and bowl together again."

Harris was excited to be able to save her best performance of the week for doubles.

"Doubles was by far my best set of the tournament," said Harris, who added sets of 520 in team and 445 in singles for a 1,584 all-events total. "I'm so glad that it helped us go to the top of the leaderboard."

The pair noticed the display of last year's champions on one of the video monitors at the 48-lane facility and wondered what it would be like to see their names alongside the winning score. They hope to experience that feeling at the 2020 Women's Championships in Las Vegas.

"This genuinely is beyond my wildest dreams," said Green, who rolled sets of 496 in singles and 486 in team for a 1,515 all-events tally. "We looked up at the screens, seeing the pictures of last year's champions, and we kept joking about how cool it would be for us to see ourselves on the screens next year as defending champions. We're just two regular people, and that's why bowling the Women's Championships is great."

Emerald Doubles features bowlers with combined entering averages of 320-349.

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