by Fred Eisenhammer
SIMI VALLEY – It’s called the Tournament of Champions and there’s a reason for that. Each team that competed in the second annual event had won a league title at one of four bowling centers: Harley’s Camarillo Bowl, Harley’s Simi Bowl, Harley’s Valley Bowl in Simi Valley and Corbin Bowl in Tarzana.
Prize money totaling more than $23,000 lured 200 bowlers (or 40 teams) from the four centers to the tournament championships June 10 at Harley’s Valley Bowl. Each team bowled three games with the high handicap score determining the winner.
Tony Jaraski, Floyd Jaraski, Jennifer Jaraski, Jim Gibbons and Jimmy Jaraski, representing Harley’s Valley Bowl, took advantage of their home lanes by winning the title, which wasn’t decided until the final frame of the final game. “We were honored to be able to bowl in the Tournament of Champions against 40 of the top teams in the area,” Jennifer Jaraski said. “The whole tournament was an amazing experience for us, from the way the tournament was run, the fun Strike-It-Rich side pots and the new friends we made on the other teams. “We never imagined we would win the tournament, but are so honored to have won it on our home bowling center and cannot wait to be back again next year.”
The four Jaraskis and Gibbons, who bowled in the Miller Western Funtime league, finished with a score of 3,922 and won $1,000.
That edged the second-place team of Larry Roveti, Margaret Knuth, Eldon Knuth, Paul Alderette, and John Fritch, which finished with a score of 3,877 and won $800. The foursome was representing the Jet Set Seniors league at Harley’s Simi Bowl. “It was great to have all the champions from each of our centers come to compete under one roof,” said Ronald Plander, the owner of the four bowling centers and the tournament brainchild. “I heard nothing but compliments about how much fun everyone had.”
Tyler Baker, representing Corbin Bowl, won the men’s singles title by firing a 747 scratch (825 with handicap). He earned $160. Robin Loehr, representing Harley’s Simi Bowl, captured the women’s singles championship with a final score of 836 (521 scratch). She won $160.
The tournament was free for all participants, all of whom cashed. By virtue of winning the tournament title, the Jaraskis-Gibbons team also will be paid its league fees for next season. The prize money was raised through fund-raisers and raffles plus a $2,500 donation from the four bowling centers. Complete results are at www.harleysbowl.com.