USBC Women's Championships notebook - June

By Wishelle Banks
USBC Communications 

SicardReiersonSanford2013_250x140RENO, Nev. -
It was a reunion that was nearly a quarter of a century in the making for former Women's Army Corps members Monica Sicard, Millie "Goober" Reierson and Lori Sanford, whose long-awaited reunion came on the lanes at the United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships.

The trio's meeting at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center appropriately came on June 14, which was Flag Day and the birthday of the U.S. Army.

While the three veterans have competed at the USBC Women's Championships in the past, the 2013 tournament marked the first time they have traveled together for the event. Sicard, a 56-year-old right-hander who was an E4 Specialist Fourth Class WAC, was unable to bowl because she's still recovering from back surgery in December.

"The three of us are WACs," said Sicard, who now resides in Shoreline, Wash., and has made three Women's Championships appearances. "It's been pretty awesome to reconnect with them. We met in the Army, but we all played sports, so we always spent time together during sporting events. I met Lori first, in basketball, and then softball. I met Millie playing softball. This is all while we were serving. We also all bowled."

Reierson, 56, now calls Thief River Falls, Minn., home, while Sanford, 55, lives in Seattle. The ability to reunite at the Women's Championships, on Flag Day at that, gave the trio the chance to catch up and joke, just like days gone by.

"We're friends forever," said Sanford, who made her second tournament appearance. "We knew each other as privates, originally, and we were all from different places. We met on the East Coast and became good friends, and those friendships last forever. When we see each other, no time has passed. We still remember each other as little kids and still harass each other as little kids. We have a great love for one another, and that will never change."

PowellSteven2013_250x140Special guest sings national anthem
Before each team event at the USBC Women's Championships, the Star Spangled Banner can be heard throughout the Reno-Sparks Convention Center, but bowlers on June 14 got a special treat as United States Navy Leading Petty Officer Steven D. Powell appeared in full uniform to perform the national anthem live.

"To me, Flag Day is an honor just to show that the country is together as one nation," said Powell, who is based out of Pleasant Hill, Calif., and has performed at countless sporting events across the country. "It's something people don't take to heart a lot, but once that flag is out, what we're all about it comes to memory again. Singing is another way for me to serve my country. My whole family was in the military, so it's very meaningful to me every time I get a chance to sing it."

RaysGirls2013_250x140Five sisters share the lanes at RSCC
A team of five sisters recently hit the lanes at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center and celebrated a combined 170 years of USBC Women's Championships participation.

Ray's Girls of Granger, Ind. - named in tribute to their father - is comprised of 71-year-old Carole Anderson, her twin sister Marge Brentlinger, 68-year-old Barbara Brookshier, 66-year-old Lorraine Bliley and 62-year-old Kathy Miller. Anderson and Brentlinger reside in Granger, Bliley and Miller live in nearby Mishawaka, Ind., and Brookshier made the trip to the Women's Championships from Arvada, Colo.

Anderson leads the way for the siblings with 37 years of tournament experience, while Brentlinger has the least amount of time on the championship lanes with 28 years to her credit. Brookshier has made 36 tournament appearances, Bliley has 35 and Miller has competed 34 times.

The five first took to the lanes together at the 1993 event in Baton Rouge, La., and have competed as a quintet ever since.

"It's absolutely wonderful," Anderson said. "It's our reunion. I started first, and the rest of them followed me in."

Presenting sponsors for the 2013 USBC Women's Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.