By Kevin Albarez
In the coming months, we'll talk with some of the best-known bowlers at the USBC Open Championships and get their thoughts on their time at the tournament and what it takes to succeed on the championship lanes.
This week, we heard from two-time World Tenpin Bowling Association World Women's Championships gold medalist Clara Guerrero, who was in Baton Rouge for her ninth Open Championships appearance May 11-12.
Guerrero solidified her place in WTBA history when she won the all-events and Masters titles at the 2009 WTBA World Women's Championships in Las Vegas. During the Masters semifinals, she recorded the highest series in the event's history with games of 248, 268 and a 289 for an 805 total.
The 30-year-old right-hander has won many additional medals and honors as a six-time member of Junior Team Colombia and a 10-time member of Team Colombia. She has dominated the Colombian bowling scene by winning the Colombian National Championships in 2002, 2004 and 2005.
Guerrero also found success at the collegiate level by leading Wichita State University to a national championship in 2005. While at Wichita State, she received her bachelor's degree in International Business. She was a three time Academic All-American from 2003-2005 and a first-team All-American in 2005.
Guerrero still is active in top-tier women's bowling events such as the USBC Queens and Bowling's U.S. Women's Open and keeps her skills sharp by competing in PBA events.
This year at the Open Championships, she shot 677 in team, 631 in singles and 550 in doubles for a 1,858 all-events total. In nine Open Championships appearances, she has a career average of 206.6.
HOMETOWN: Austin, Texas
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS APPEARANCES: Nine
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS TITLES: 0
BOWLING BALL WEIGHT: 15
FAVORITE BRAND OF BOWLING BALLS: Columbia 300
ONE all-time favorite host city: Las Vegas
TWO best Open Championships memories: 1. watching my teammate shoot an 800 series (Kristal Wilson); 2. my friends' team title (Team Tilt in 2008).
THREE keys to success at the Open Championships: 1. teamwork at the lanes; 2. spares; 3. keep it simple
FOURgettable Open Championships moment: I can't remember =)
FIVE bowlers in history on your Open Championships fantasy all-star team: Walter Ray Williams Jr., Norm Duke, Chris Barnes, Andres Gomez and Clara Guerrero
SIX bowling balls currently in your Open Championships arsenal: (All Columbia 300) Omen, Dark Encounter, Ransom Demand, Benchmark, Eruption, Encounter.
SEVEN cities you'd like to see the Open Championships go to/return to: Austin, Texas; Dallas; Wichita, Kan.; New York City; San Francisco; Las Vegas; Orlando, Fla.
EIGHT favorite bowling balls ever: Ebonite Omega, Columbia 300 Momentum, Brunswick Red Fuze, Columbia 300 Omen, Brunswick Danger Zone, Brunswick Inferno, Storm Black Thunder and Red Pulse
NINE other current/eligible bowlers you would choose to join you on your ideal pair of companion teams at the Open Championships: My current team and our companion team - Josh Kubiak, Kristal Wilson, Samantha How, Scott How, Thomas Ault Jr., Russ Wilson, Chris Greene, Joe Keltner, Jay Futrell
TEN seconds or less, who is your favorite bowler of all-time?: Amleto Monacelli
ELEVEN strikes in a row to start a game at the Open Championships, what's going through your head?: Make a great shot.
TWELVE years from now, where do you hope to be in your bowling career?: I would like to be still bowling at a competitive level.