Family, friends highlight bowler's 50th WC

By Wishelle Banks
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev. -
Carolyn Evans of Little Rock, Ark., was touched by the recognition she received as she made her 50th appearance at the United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships this week at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center.

The 73-year-old right-hander made her tournament debut at the 1963 USBC Women's Championships in Memphis, Tenn., and received a plaque and medallion Monday to commemorate her longevity on the championship lanes.

"It feels very, very special," Evans said. "I'm very honored. It's a special memory of a special day in my life."

Evans, who was the fifth bowler to join the 50-Year Club at the 2014 event, also has competed in 55 Arkansas State tournaments. Her dedication to the sport earned her a spot in the Central Arkansas USBC WBA Hall of Fame in 2006.

She was accompanied on the lanes this year by her daughter, Nancy Burrow, and was surprised at the airport as she was about to depart for The Biggest Little City in the World by her sister, Betty Townsend. Evans also was joined by longtime teammate Suda Bailey of Cabot, Ark., who made her 52nd Women's Championships appearance.

"Seeing so much of the country, and the fellowship and friendship of all the bowlers that we've bowled with, are things I'll always remember," Evans said. "Being at 50 tournaments also means a lot to me. It has been my honor."

Evans has no plans of slowing down and looks forward to continuing her participation all the way to the 100th edition of the Women's Championships scheduled for Wichita, Kan., in 2019. The event will make its return to traditional bowling centers, and that tournament also would mark her daughter's 25th tournament appearance.

"I would love to be there," Evans said. "That would be a great milestone. It would be perfect."

In her 50th appearance, Evans put together sets of 503 in singles, 433 in team and 428 in doubles for an all-events score of 1,364.

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Presenting sponsors for the 2014 USBC Women's Championships include Circus Circus Reno, Eldorado Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.