If you're a fan of Winona bowling, you had to be proud of the accomplishments of the Winona men's and women's teams last weekend in the seventh annual Winona/La Crosse Bowling Challenge.
Winona's men's team overcame a 20-point deficit after the first day, got back in the match with a strong showing in doubles on Sunday at Westgate Bowl, then finished off La Crosse with a spectacular final two rounds in the Baker team matches to record a 162-138 victory.
It was the second straight win for Winona, which had gone 0-5 in the first five years of the event.
Most competitors and fans were looking for another nail-biting finish when the Winona and La Crosse women squared off. It never materialized, thanks in part to dominating efforts in the alternate-shot and regular doubles matches. Winona outscored its counterparts 81-19 in the two events en route to a surprisingly lopsided 201-99 win.
Tina Wenzel and Keri Wegman were downright unbeatable for the Winona women, who now hold a 4-3 advantage in the event. Wenzel, in just her second year on the team, tossed a 620 to win her singles match 5-0, and teamed with her aunt, Shirley Benedict, to go unbeaten in both doubles events. Wenzel fired a 671 honor count in doubles.
Wegman was just as solid and also went unbeaten in the first three events. She combined with her daughter, Julie Moldenhauer, to sweep their two doubles matches. Wegman then helped Winona's senior team win 23 out of a possible 25 points in the Baker team matches.
Wegman wasn't the only senior making big news on Sunday at Winona Bowl in doubles. Sue Buermann (633) and Lynda Krall (632) combined for the highest score of any of the 20 teams (1,265). Also breaking the 1,200-mark for Winona in doubles were the teams of Laurie Wiseman and Keri Prigge (1,223), Diane Marley and Krystal Dorman (1,210), and Wenzel and Benedict (1,208).
Winona youngest bowler in the event, Lindsay Serwa, enjoyed her share of success while competing in the Challenge for the first year. She tossed a 611 in singles and a 605 in doubles.
In Saturday's singles play in La Crosse, Dorman led the way with a 657 series. Wegman and Sue Yeoman both posted 5-0 wins for Winona, which held a 53-47 lead after singles. That was despite a 710 series by La Crosse's Katie Kaiser.
In the men's event, Winona trailed by two points (101-99) heading into the Baker matches, and held a slim two-point lead with two rounds to go. That's where they took over, outscoring the La Crosse team 31-9 in the final two rounds to pull away. That was highlighted by a 276 game by the senior team of Bill Bonow, Don Boynton, Steve Maliszewski, Tom Donnelly and Greg Schewe.
Winona won eight of the 10 doubles matches, including 5-0 wins from the teams of Rick and Bob Prenot and John Glowczewski and Mike Durnen, to make things interesting going into the Baker matches.
Rick Prenot (740), Seth Bonow (728) and Josh Wenzel (717) all rolled honor counts for Winona in doubles.
In Saturday's singles matches, Brian Dunbar (741), Boynton (721) and Nick Heilman (717) all fired honor counts en route to 5-0 wins.
Boynton proved to be a valuable addition to the senior team. He teamed with Donnelly to win their two doubles matches 4-1 to go along with his shutout in singles.
Congratulations to both Winona teams for outstanding performances over the weekend.
Lynda Krall's success didn't end Sunday in the doubles portion of the Challenge. She came back Monday night with a 668 series in the Pin Topplers League at Westgate, then added a 635 Wednesday in the Mixers League, also at Westgate.
Keri Prigge also had a pair of honor counts with a 646 Monday in the Spinners League at Winona Bowl and a 638 Wednesday in the Sunsetters League at Westgate.
Krystal Beech (649) and Lisa Pietkauskis (625) both added honor counts for the second straight week in the Spinners League. Mandi Steffes (630), Maggie Glenn (629) and Diane Marley (628) also carded honor counts in the past week.
Josh Wenzel paced the men with a 742 honor count in the American League at Westgate. Other 700s for the week came from Kyle Malewicki (738), Ken Cordes (738), Greg Schewe (735), Seth Bonow (733), Brian Fakler (711), John Glowczewski (708) and Dusty Zimmer (704).
Richard Orlikowski came close to throwing the first 300 game of the season Sunday in the Pin Setters League at Westgate, only to come up two pins shy with a 298.