A near 300 by Lourdes Cardenas highlights opening sectional: Beat the Champions

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Lourdes Cardenas receives help from daughter Mila after winning in the Section 1 sectional of Beat the Champions.
Dale Bowman/Sun-Times

Lourdes Cardenas picked the right time to bowl the highest game of her life Saturday in the 58th Beat the Champions.

She rolled a 297 in the final game of the Section 1 sectional at Brunswick Zone Mount Prospect to win the women’s side with a 761.

Steve Sowinski, who opened with a 245, won the men’s side with a 760.

Cardenas, a Mundelein woman who works in human resources, left a 4-7-9 split on her 12th ball to just miss her first 300 before a hushed house.

“I never rolled more than five or strikes in a row before in my life,” she said.

Halfway through that game, her husband Cesar, who was taking care of their 2-year-old daughter Mila, saw the opening string of strikes.

“[Mila] wanted to go talk to her, but I said, `No,’ ” Cesar said.

It was what Cardenas, who advanced from Lakeside Recreational, needed. She opened with games of 170 and 149 to go with her 145 pins of handicap.

“[After the second game], I stopped overthinking it and threw a calm and relaxed ball and was able to do that the third game,” she said. “The person I sat with [Jaime Rous] kept me calm and collected.”

Sowinski used experience to advance.

“I bowled here before like 10 years ago,” said Sowinski, a Des Plaines man who is manager on duty at Classic Bowl in Morton Grove. “I practiced last night at a different place.”

He finished with games of 192 and 188 to go with 135 pins of handicap. In BTC, the charity event by the Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association, handicap is 90 percent of the difference a bowler averages under 220.

Also advancing to the finals in March on the women’s were Kim Milazzo, a kindergarten aide from Northbrook, and Lauren Block, a registered nurse from Chicago.

The other three men advancing were Don Kohlndorfer, a Park Ridge man who works sales, Richard Ptack, a business analyst from Elmwood Park who finally made the finals after five trips to sectionals, and Alex Hulbert, a martial arts instructor from Tinley Park.

In the finals, the top prize for both the men and women is $7,500.

The biggest prize in BTC, of which the Sun-Times is a sponsor, is the $2,872,914.93 raised for charity in BTC’s first 57 years by 5,789,515 entries.

Section 1 Sectional scores

Saturday’s Results

Top four men and top three women, pending verification, advance to the finals.

Bowler, Center G1-G2-G3-Hdp–Tot

Steve Sowinski, Classic 245-192-188-135-760

Don Kohlndorfer, River Rand 212-214-234-83–743

Richard Ptack, Beverly 222-225-188-105–740

Alex Hulbert, River Rand 2225-165-246-97–733

Bill Nicholl, Lakeside 179-213-184-153–729

Juan Hernandez, Classic 214-233-203-75–725

Keith Krostal, Sunset 226-197-196-108–722

Jack Lippert, Classic 198-226-202-91–717

Reid Koenen, Lakeside 215-169-194-124–702

Brian Mroozian, Classic 192-202-169-124–687

Dan Klobucnik, BZ Niles 239-203-153-89–684

Ron Masters, Classic 191-213-163-113–680

Stephan Stander, Lakes 167-217-207-89–680

Jim Crawford, Lakes 180-217-225-54–676

Josh Borrego, Lakes 213-212-173-72–670

Floyd Lewandowski, Beverly 173-181-157-159–670

Joe Demo, River Rand 165-268-193-35–661

Roger Schneider, Arlington 167-236-196-62–66

Mike Krydynski, Beverly 149-153-141-216–659

Rafael Marquez, Sunset 172-156-237-91–656

Joe Starr, Beverly 146-157-201-148–652

Juan Rivera, BZ Niles 165-159-206-121–651

Steve Ellgass, BZ Mt Prospect 166-256-161-54–637

Howard Rothstein, Beverly 240-194-163-37–634

Michael Losacco, Arlington 204-158-168-97–627

Ron Ismar, Classic 156-166-191-113–626

Jason Melchert, BZ Mt Prospect 170-171-177-108–626

Tony Dussel, Beverly 176-186-201-59–622

Don Hillard, Arlington 164-171-231-54–620

Thomas Meck Jr, Arlington 204-215-165-32–616

Jim Schroeder, Classic 141-182-136-156–615

Michael Tomes, Lakeside 158-125-167-162–612

Gary Treacy, Sunset 191-151-174-81–597

Eric Nelson, Sunset 148-192-138-113–591

Women

Bowler, center G1-G2-G3-hdp–TOT

Lourdes Cardenas, Lakeside 170-149-297–145–761

Kim Milazzo, Classic 157-175-179-243–754

Lauren Block, Arlington 232-193-179-132–736

Renee Heuser, Lakes 204-257-242-21–724

Roslyn Gatewood-Austin, Classic 183-177-174-162–696

Nikki Lipka, River Rand 242-216-214-24–696

Allison Tompkins, Beverly 146-143-132-253–674

Cheryl Bleich, Beverly 183-204-248–32–667

Cindy Trojan, Classic 149-179-154-183–665

Sheiba Oats, Classic 171-154-199-140–664

Gloria Sexton, Classic 157-225-172-108–662

Kelly Bierer, Arlington 181-157-212-110–660

Gina Lipka, BZ Mt Prospect 178-137-141-194–650

Robin Petit, Lakes 149-159-191-151–650

Kathy Pearson, Lakes 96-202-210-137–645

Linda Reusch, Lakeside 148-150-224-108–630

Kimberly Corsaw, Sunset 146-125-207-151–629

Jaime Rous, Lakes 115-173-200-140–628

Pam Geisler, BZ Mt Prospect 163-135-128-197–623

Tonya Hughes, Beverly 113-120-126-261–620

Diane Hall, Arlington 188-134-180-113–615

Mary Thedford, Sunset 134-147-131-194–606

Jill Larson, BZ Mt Prospect 116-195-168-124–603

Carole Mohr, Beverly 130-128-135-197–590

Tina Kozil, BZ Niles 90-119-125-237–571

Barb Guthrie, Lakeside 111-116-107-213–547

PRIZE NOTE: Top male and female bowlers in each sectional win either a Storm Roto Grip or Hammer Black Widow.

SCHEDULE: Sectionals: Fox Valley, 10 a.m. today, Lisle Lanes . . . Section 2, 2 p.m. (women) and 5 p.m. (men) today, Rolling Lanes . . . Section 4/Will County, 10 a.m. (women) and 2 p.m. (men) Feb. 16, Arena Lanes . . . Section 3, 10 a.m. Feb. 17, Diversey River Bowl. Finals: Men’s, noon March 3, Beverly Lanes; women’s, 2 p.m. March 10, Liberty Lanes.

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