Stephanie Thompson filled her frames with memories Sunday.

The Palatine woman bowled a 1,002 to win the woman’s finals of the 56th Beat the Champions at Bluebird Lanes in Chicago.

“It was for my grandpa [the late Joseph Nalley],’’ said Thompson, 25. “He bowled in these all the times. We have a framed picture of him in a [newspaper] story. They always said if I make it, they will frame mine and put it underneath. So this is for him.

“He was like my hero. He always took me out to eat, anything I wanted. I was grandpa’s girl.’’

Thompson, a freight associate at Home Depot in Glendale Heights, rolled games of 193, 258, 210 and 223 to go with 118 pins of handicap.

Stephanie Thompson showed some good bowling in winning the women’s finals of the 56th Beat the Champions at Bluebird Lanes.
Credit: Dale Bowman

In the handicapped charity tournament put on by the Chicagoland Bowling Proprietors Association, with the Sun-Times as media sponsor, bowlers averaging below 210 receive 90 percent of the difference as handicap.

Thompson averaged 177 at the TNT League at Brunswick Zone-River Grove, which bowls at 2 p.m. on Sundays. Her phone was blowing up with texts from teammates. For more than one reason.

If the champions comes from a league with 100-percent entry in BTC, which TNT is, the prize fund receives a $500 bonus. All but one of the finalists came from 100-percent leagues.

As to her big number, the $7,500 top prize, Thompson said, “I need a new car. The rest will probably just put in savings for use for my son.’’

In the finals, bowlers roll four games, jumping a pair of lanes after each game. Thompson bowled on the same pair of lanes as Sue Shelton, who was second with 953.

“I knew the score sheets were on the wall,’’ Thompson said. “But I didn’t want to go over to look. Just one ball at a time.’’

Shelton, who has worked 38 years at the Ford plant on the Southeast Side, said the lanes suited her and it showed with an opening 245.

LeKetha Adams, who works in the religious services department of the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, used home-center advantage at Bluebird to finish third (931).

Monica Biliskov, a manager at Cupid Candies, sweetened her day with a fourth (924). Jennifer Sloan, a domestic engineer from Libertyville, engineered games of 198, 234, 236 and 220 to go with only 21 pins of handicap to finish fifth (909).

* * *

NOTES: BACK AGAIN: Six women made return trips to the finals: Adams (third), Biliskov (fourth), Velma Watson (18th), Mary Gamble (26th), Cathy Matthews (31st) and Janet Kulovitz (32nd).

PENS: Liz Johnson set a target of 717, which explains why only 114 women earned commemorative “I Beat the Champ’’ pens.

SCRATCH: In a rarity, no scratch bowlers (210) reached the women’s finals. The closest was Kulovitz (207 average, 10 pins of handicap).

* * *

Individual scoring
Bluebird Lanes, Chicago
Sunday’s results
Bowler, center G1-G2-G3-G4-HDCP–TOT
Stephanie Thompson, BZ-River Grove 193-258-210-223-118–1,002
Sue Shelton, Arena 245-183-166-190-169–953
LeKetha Adams, Hillside 222-196-208-201-104–931
Monica Biliskov, El-Mar 224-215-196-217-72–924
Jennifer Sloan, Lakes 198-234-236-220-21–909
Deb Hauswirth, Poplar Creek 180-168-182-203-172–905
Diane Thorne-Bakker, Rolling 160-164-225-172-183–904
JoJo Pettitt, Palos 156-158-200-162-223–899
Latonya Davis, Lakewood 127-140-210-166-252–895
Patricia Martin, Rolling 150-178-170-150-244–892
Regina Foreman, Burr Oak 147-169-205-193-172–886
Val Buchanan, Beverly 189-189-227-235-43–883
Kim Hallman, Habetler 132-163-134-147-306–882
Pamela Terry, Skyway 119-125-159-142-324–869
Gina Damon, Orland 213-163-228-166-97–867
Racquel Wilson, Town Hall 216-176-151-182-133–858
Evelyn Martin, Arena 193-140-152-166-190–841
Velma Watson, Hillside 190-195-200-193-61–839
Teri Williams-Gibbs, Skyway 172-146-133-168-219–838
Sonya Ector, Castaways 172-127-153-159-219–830
*Carmen Dunbar, Lakewood 213-128-180-197-111–829
*Jill Salvesen, Fox 211-193-220-177-28–829
Judi Breisch, Funway 156-157-171-207-136–827
Tahisha Plane, Hillside 148-211-148-136-183–826
Sheila Byers, Tinley 140-140-154-184-190–808
Mary Gamble, Timber 115-168-149-141-226–799
Bettina Jackson, Burr Oak 167-182-171-156-118–794
Gina Gato, Plainfield 138-118-173-104-259–792
Alicia Maze, Arena 161-141-184-191-111–788
Veda Mitchell, Castaways 147-133-159-181-115–735
Cathy Matthews, Castaways 159-120-168-169-111–727
Janet Kulovitz, Rolling 185-155-196-172-10–718
* tied for 21st


1st: $7,500; 2nd: 50-inch LED 1080p smart HDTV; 3rd: 40-inch LED 1080p HDTV; 4th: 32-inch LED 720p smart HDTV; 5th: 24-inch LED 720p smart HDTV; 6th-13th: Hammer Rebel and Hammer two-ball tote bag; 14th-21st: Hammer Rebel ball; 22nd-32nd: KR StrikeForce two-ball roller ball