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Zikis takes view from top of ladder in step to win title

May 30, 2010|By MARK KELLER
  • Duckpin Olympics gold medalist John Zikis, center, is flanked by bronze medalist Steph Lapensee, left, and silver medalist Mike Herbert, right, during award ceremonies Sunday afternoon at Southside Bowl in Hagerstown.
By Mark Keller,

HAGERSTOWN -- There are pros and cons to being the top seed in a bowling tournament contested in stepladder format.

One of the pros is an automatic berth in the final, allowing the bowler to rest while the lower seeds work their way up the ladder.

But with that rest comes two of the cons: The waiting and the watching of the other players.

John Zikis admitted the wait was getting to him as he waited to see who he would face in the final game of the $50,000 Duckpin Olympics at Southside Bowl on Sunday afternoon.

So when No. 3 seed Mike Herbert reached the top rung for the other spot in the final, Zikis suddenly had to deal with a case of nerves.

"It's nice to be rested, but my body tightened up on me a bit while I waited," said Zikis. "And Mike threw very well the game before. I could feel my legs shaking up there in the first frame."

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Zikis left one pin standing in the first, but settled in and followed with three straight marks on his way to a 147-112 victory over Herbert to win the $12,000 first prize and a gold medal.

It was the second tournament win on the Duckpin Professional Bowlers Association tour for Zikis, who lives in Hamden, Conn. It was easily his biggest payday on the tour.

"The standard tournament is $2,500 to win and the masters tournament is $6,000," Zikis said. "But this is the big one."

The prize money couldn't have come at a better time for Zikis. He's headed to Las Vegas for vacation in 10 days.

"I'm not taking it all with me, but it definitely will help," Zikis said.

Herbert, of Oshawa, Ontario, had to win twice to reach the final. He beat No. 5 seed Jason Smith 143-137, then knocked off No. 2 seed Steph Lapensee, a fellow Canadian, 168-157 to get to the final.

But once in the final, Herbert wasn't quite as sharp. He left the 5 pin standing on the first shot in each of the first three frames and only once picked up the spare.

Zikis' three straight marks gave him a 14-pin lead through four frames, but a 7 in the fifth opened the door for Herbert. This time, he left the 9 pin standing on his first shot and again failed to get the mark.

"I was just missing. I missed all of my singles in the last game," Herbert said.

Zikis tacked on spares in the sixth and seventh frames to increase his cushion to 24. Herbert answered with a strike in the seventh, but couldn't back it up in the eighth.

Zikis sealed the win with a strike in the ninth.

The trip from north of the border still was worthwhile for Herbert, who took home $6,000 for his runner-up finish.

He has plans for his paycheck, too. He's getting married in August.

* In the Women's National Duckpin Association event at Dual Lanes, Jackie Adams of Walkersville, Md., won the gold and a first-place check for $5,000 by beating Andrea Lanahan in the final.

Duckpin Olympics



At Southside Bowl, Hagerstown

Stepladder format (seeding in parentheses)

Tom Hobbs (8) d. Brian Styles (7), 122-108.

Dom Caprinolo (6) d. Hobbs, 151-110.

Jason Smith (5) d. Caprinolo, 148-144.

Smith d. Billy Koontz (4), 155-114.

Mike Herbert (3) d. Smith, 143-137.

Herbert d. Steph Lapensee (2), 168-157.

John Zikis (1) d. Herbert, 147-112.

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