HAMMOND | Shaun Tasker-Lewis didn't want to stroll to the other end of Olympia Lanes, where his wife Audry was one of the last four Class WB bowlers left on Sunday. He didn't want to jinx her.
Besides, Shaun was busy bowling in the final four of Class A, himself.
"I was clapping from down here, looking at her shots," Shaun said. "But I didn't want to go down there."
Audry came into the tournament as a 159-average bowler.
"I'm extremely proud of her progression because four years ago, she wasn't even bowling at all," Shaun said. "I'm more proud of her than I am of myself."
Audry is admittedly Shaun's biggest cheerleader, but said it wasn't hard to keep both eyes on her own lane Sunday.
"I was more focused on me, because when I'm focused, I bowl better," she said. "I knew he was going to take care of him, so I wanted to do good for him so that I could say I did that for you."
Top teen: Maritza Ramos's Class WB title is her first championship in any tournament. Ramos is only 17-years-old.
"It feels really good," she said. "I'm happy I got an eagle, a really big eagle."
She credited her coach, Marty Miller, with changing her approach and follow through. That, the Chicago Washington High School bowler said, made the difference.
"He told me to just bowl like I usually do," Ramos said.
Ramos's prize money will be added to her USBC SMART account.
That sweet sound: Doktu Muuzic is a blues musician. He's also the 2014 Class SA champion.
The Chicago resident says the two activities aren't so different.
"I think you have to relax and stay focused and remember the fundamentals (in both bowling and jazz)," Muuzic said. "It's about keeping in time, in rhythm, relaxing."
Muuzic beat the top qualifier in any class, Hank Duncan, in the final match 227-174. The pair has been bowling together for years, Muuzic said.
"I've been knowing Hank for 30 years," he said. "We used to bowl against each other at (now-closed) New Park Manor (bowling center)."
Targeted: Tyrus Bester took home his second eagle trophy Sunday. The 2009 Class C champion out-dueled Lester Rankin 247-191 to win Class B this year.
"I'm a much better bowler now," he said. "Winners always have a target on their back and I feel that I'm a winner. Until you beat me, you going to be mad."
Bester had a message for the "haters": His trophy case still has some room.
"To win two feels wonderful, but I'm going for a three-peat next year," Bester said.
He's back: Lee Schmeglar took a year off of bowling after his league folded in 2013. He used the opportunity to spend more time with his family, attend some of his kids' basketball and football practices and rest an injured hip flexor.
But holding up the Class C championship trophy Sunday sure made him long for the lanes.
"I really didn't miss it," he said. "Then, two months ago I picked up a ball and it felt pretty good."
Schmeglar needed some breaks Sunday to win, and he caught a few from second-place finisher Michael Reyes Jr. The final match was 294-221 (after handicap).
"I'm 50. I should've been playing in the senior division," Schmeglar said.
Bowling is life: Domingo Rodriguez marks the passing of time in the bowling center.
"I got married, got a job and started bowling all at the same time and I'm still bowling. I'm still married, too," he said. "I started all the bad things all in one year."
Rodriguez beamed as he looked at his Class SB trophy Sunday.
"I'm unbelievably proud," he said. "It turns out that I'm not a bad bowler."
Rodriguez topped 2013 SA champion Ron Coleman 256-253 (after handicap).