CLINTON, Iowa – For the first time since the 1998 United States Bowling Congress Queens, the Professional Women’s Bowling Association will return to the Hawkeye State at the PWBA Iowa Regional in Clinton, Iowa, on Sunday, March 1.
The one-day event will kick off at Plaza Lanes at 10 a.m. Eastern with an eight-game qualifying round, and the top four will advance to a stepladder final, which is scheduled for 3 p.m. Eastern. Both rounds Sunday will be broadcast live on BowlTV.
A roster full of talented players, some local and some traveling from as far away as North Carolina, will compete for the chance to claim the third regional title of the 2020 PWBA season. One of those players is Allie Tatrow of Wichita, Kansas.
Tatrow, a former standout at Wichita State (2010-2014), is looking to build on her momentum after back-to-back top-10 finishes at the first two events on the regional schedule. Tatrow finished ninth at the PWBA Sarasota Regional in January and third in the stepladder after qualifying second at last week’s PWBA East Providence Regional.
“The first two events have been a great adventure for me, being able to see so many familiar faces and reconnect on those friendships,” said Tatrow, who qualified for the Intercollegiate Singles Championships her senior year at Wichita State.
Last year was a big year for Tatrow off the lanes, including a wedding and a honeymoon. With the responsibilities tied to both of those events, she was only able to attend the USBC Queens and U.S. Women’s Open. But with more time on her hands this year, Tatrow plans on attending as many stops as possible.
“Last year was very exciting for me, but I wasn’t able to bowl as many events as I wanted,” Tatrow said. “I am happy to say that I plan to compete at many of the national tour stops this season, including the Queens and U.S. Women’s Open.”
In 2015, Tatrow competed in five PWBA events, with a high finish of eighth at the PWBA Lubbock Sports Open. It was the same year she began to pursue her master’s degree in educational leadership and administration. As she focused on her education, bowling full-time on the PWBA Tour no longer was her priority.
“My master’s degree put bowling on the back burner for a few years,” said Tatrow, who is an English teacher at Derby High School in Derby, Kansas. “Once I finished it, I felt the pull to come back to bowling. I’ve checked off a lot of childhood goals, and now I can start making new ones.”
The goal that Tatrow has set for herself is ambitious, but certainly reachable.
“I want to cash in any event I bowl in. If I can do that, it will have been a good year.”
One of the benefits of the PWBA Regional Program is that it allows younger players the opportunity to test themselves against more experienced players. The PWBA Iowa Regional roster includes two players that fit this mold: 17-year-old Caroline Thesier of Mooresville, North Carolina, and 14-year-old Karina Capron of Fremont, Nebraska.
Both players have made their mark at the Junior Gold Championships, the premier event for the nation's top youth bowlers, who compete for national titles in four divisions – 12-and-under, 15-and-under, 17-and-under and 20-and-under – plus spots on Junior Team USA and scholarships.
Thesier, a 2019 Junior Team USA member, captured her Junior Gold title in the U17 division last year in Detroit and made a splash at the 2019 U.S. Open in her hometown of Mooresville, where she advanced to the main field by qualifying through the pre-tournament qualifier (PTQ).
Capron twice made the finals of the U12 division, winning the title in 2017 in Cleveland and finishing as the runner-up in 2018 in Dallas. Moving up to the U15 division in 2019, Capron finished 19th, just missing out on the top 16 for match play.
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see one of these young players advance to the stepladder and compete for the title on Sunday.