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SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Not long ago, Elysia Current of Ephrata, Pa., was a dominant collegiate bowler. Now, she's the top seed at the USBC Queens and one win away from officially proving herself against the best bowlers in the world.
The 26-year-old right-hander averaged 228 on the way to a 6-0 match-play record at the Oncenter Convention Center, which included a 626-584 win Tuesday against former Team USA member Missy Parkin of Lake Forest, Calif., in the battle for the No. 1 seed for Tuesday's ESPN2 telecast.
Parkin, formerly Bellinder, earned the No. 2 seed for the show and is looking to avenge a heart-breaking loss to eventual champion Kelly Kulick in the second match of last year's stepladder, when she need a mark to advance, but left a 7-10 split and finished fourth.
The two will be joined by No. 3 seed, USBC Hall of Famer Kim Terrell-Kearney of Grand Prairie, Texas, No. 4 Cathy Dorin-Lizzi of Sandusky, Ohio, and No. 5 Wendy Macpherson of Henderson, Nev., a USBC Hall of Famer who is looking to win a record fourth Queens title. Macpherson defeated Team USA member Shannon O'Keefe of Arlington, Texas, 733-664, to advance out of the contenders bracket Tuesday night.
"I'm just taking everything in as it happens and trying to enjoy being out here and competing," said Current, who was the 2003-04 Collegiate Player and Rookie of the Year at Fairleigh Dickinson University. "When I'm not in a bowling center, I try not to think about bowling or talk about bowling. Tonight, I'm going to relax and enjoy the moment and just wait for the lights to go on tomorrow."
After two successful seasons at Fairleigh Dickinson, Current transferred to bowling powerhouse Wichita State University and enjoyed some time under the TV lights while helping the Shockers to a win at the 2007 USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships.
That same year, the two-time Junior Team USA member also took home the women's title at the USBC Intercollegiate Singles Championships, which earned her a spot on Bowling's Clash of Champions in 2008.
"I know they all have more experience, but I've been on TV twice before, and that's in the back of my mind right now," Current said. "I just love competing, and I'm excited about the opportunity to prove myself as a competitor at this level."
The championship round of the 2011 Queens will be televised live on ESPN2 on Wednesday, at 7 p.m. EDT. The winner will take home the Queens tiara and a $20,000 first-place check.