Bob and Pat Wozny go way back with bowling.

And with Beat the Champions.

“Years, ago he [made the finals],’’ Pat said. “At that time, he won a black-and-white TV.’’

BTC goes back that far. Sectionals for the 56th BTC start at noon Saturday with Section 1 qualifiers at Lakeside Lanes in Mundelein. The other sectionals are this weekend or next.

The Northwest Side couple–Bob, 74, Pat, 68–have entered BTC for as long as she remembers. This year they both advanced out of the Kings and Queens League Fridays at Beverly Lanes in Arlington Heights to the Section 1 sectional.

Seems apt.

“That is how we met: bowling,’’ Pat said. “It was at Belmont Bowl, at Lincoln and Belmont. That is where I bowled and where I met him.’’

They were married in 1982.

Even with decades of marriage, Pat said she is glad the men and women are bowling at the same time.

“Actually he makes nervous if he is watching me,’’ she said. “I will just have my friends there. I will let me know how he is doing.’’

Pat bowls twice a week. She has bowled in the other league, Friendship League at Brunswick Zone River Grove Lanes on Mondays, since she took up bowling a couple years after high school. She will not bowl as usual Friday at Beverly because of the arthritis in her right thumb. She is saving herself for Saturday.

With the arthritis, her average is down to 149. Bob’s average is around 169. BTC is a handicapped tournament put on by the Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association with the Sun-Times as the media sponsor. It has raised more than $2.8 million for charity.

“I at least want to make my average,’’ Pat said. “I love to bowl. I like to compete but I try not to think about it. I am going in with an open mind, just going in like it is a Monday or Friday night.’’

This year the top prize in the finals for both the women’s and men’s champions is a cash prize of $7,500.