ARLINGTON, Texas – United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Lucy Sandelin of Tampa, Florida, is poised and ready as she looks to claim an unprecedented fourth USBC Senior Queenstitle starting this week in Las Vegas.
The 2018 Senior Queens starts Friday at the bowling facility inside the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino. More than 80 of the best female bowlers age 50 and older are vying for the coveted tiara and $8,000 top prize presented to the winner.
Sandelin, a 60-year-old right-hander, captured her third tiara with a dominating performance at the 2017 event at Circle Bowl in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After earning the top seed in qualifying, Sandelin went undefeated in match play and finished the week with a victory over fellow hall of famer and 2012 Senior Queens champion Anne Marie Duggan of Edmond, Oklahoma, 193-179, in the title match.
Sandelin added a fitness program to complement her rigorous practice schedule prior to her run in 2017, which also included winning six gold medals while representing the United States at the Tournament of the Americas. She’s increased her training in 2018, knowing the field at the Senior Queens continues to improve each year.
“The competition is what drives me to continue to practice and push myself,” said Sandelin, who also won the Senior Queens in 2007 and 2013. “The competition continues to get better and better, and I know I needed to ramp things up if I want to put myself in position to win again. I want to win a fourth tiara, and whether it happens or not this year, I know I’m going in as prepared as possible.”
Sandelin matched the mark posted by fellow hall of famers Robin Romeo and Sandra Postma in 2017 when she captured her third Senior Queens title. Although she would enjoy becoming the event’s all-time wins leader, Sandelin is motivated for a fourth title for a different reason.
“I have two granddaughters and two nieces, and I would love to leave each of them with a tiara,” said Sandelin, who recently was named the 2017 International Bowling Media Association Senior Bowler of the Year in the women’s division. “So, I need to win one more for them. That’s my motivation.”
Entering the 2018 event as the defending champion, Sandelin is guaranteed the No. 32 spot in the bracket, but she can improve her seeding through qualifying.
All competitors at the 2018 Senior Queens will bowl 15 games of qualifying over two days, starting Friday at 11 a.m. Eastern, to determine the 31 bowlers joining Sandelin in match play. Seeding will be determined by total pinfall.
The bracket will feature three-game matches, with total pinfall determining who advances. The five players who make their way through the bracket will advance to the stepladder finals. The tournament features a true double-elimination format, so the No. 1 seed for the stepladder finals would have to lose twice in the championship match.
BOWL.com’s BowlTV will provide wire-to-wire coverage of the 2018 event, starting with Friday’s opening round. The stepladder finals will be broadcast Sunday at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.