HAMMOND — It’s been five years since Chris Cole was declared free of his jaw cancer. It’s been nine years since his last Times Classic championship.
He got another on Sunday, beating Jimmy Jordan 235-218 to win the Class SA title at Olympia Lanes.
“It feels fantastic,” Cole said. “I’m starting to get some energy, some stamina. That’s the best I’ve bowled all year.”
Cole was an alternate in the semifinals and the bottom qualifier for the finals, meaning he had to bowl in all four rounds.
“I worked for it. I need a rest,” he said. “I’m definitely tired. I don’t know if I’d rather have a bye. It’s hard to say. It don’t matter. I’m just happy.”
Berry is first Class Y champ
Jeremiah Berry is a 16-year-old Crete-Monee junior-to-be and he’s already got a Times Classic trophy.
“I started off a little rough. I didn’t feel my shot but I stayed focused,” Berry said. “This is the best thing I’ve ever done. It’s first place. This is the biggest tournament I’ve ever been in.”
Class Y began this year for youth bowlers.
Berry topped Brandon Mitchell 246-244 in the final match.
Schmeglar gets his fifth trophy
Lee Schmeglar may need to build a trophy case just for his Times Classic hardware.
Schmeglar beat Wendell Byers 235-201 in the Class SB championship match Sunday to win his fifth title.
“I feel comfortable when I’m in (Olympia Lanes),” Schmeglar said. “I just started to throw the ball well.”
He won Class B in 2008 and 2016 and Class C in 2001 and 2014. This is his first senior crown.
“You bowl less and less as you get older as you have more responsibilities,” Schmeglar said. “I felt guilty because I missed a softball tournament to be here today.”
One to hold over Ari’s head
Shonda Wilson has something her son, decorated professional bowler Ari Wilson, doesn’t have: a Times Classic trophy.
Shonda Wilson won Class WA Sunday with a 252-225 victory over Michelle Plant.
“Ari said, ‘You just love the game. You want everybody to win.’ I said, ‘I want to win.’ And he said, ‘Then act like it. You’d beat me for a pop,’” Shonda Wilson said. “I told him I’d go and win it for him.”
Shonda Wilson has qualified for the semifinals more times than she can remember, but this is her first championship.
IU bowler gets a win
Carrington Sanders is a Munster graduate who bowls collegiately at Indiana University. He finished sixth last year. He had a contingent of friends and family watch him earn the Class B title Sunday.
“This feels great,” he said. “Everybody came out to support me. I’m just really thankful for all the support I had.”
Sanders bowled a 210 after handicap to beat Antonio Agee’s 180 in the championship game.
“It was grind today, honestly,” Sanders said.
Classic makes Pacheco’s top five
University of St. Francis (Illinois) junior bowler Joshua Pacheco was the winner in Class C, topping Ernest Duran 226-214 in the title match.
“This is definitely in my top five, for sure,” he said.
The 20-year-old kegler is unique in that he’s left-handed and bowls with a two-hand technique.
“When I was little, I could never carry a ball. I had to throw it two-handed because I was too weak. It just stuck with me and as I got older I actually liked it,” Pacheco said. “Here I am today.”
Pacheco, of Berwyn, Illinois, won a championship in his third attempt at the Classic. He’s never qualified for the semifinals before this year.
Richardson doesn’t need any byes
Layana Richardson climbed from the eighth spot to win Class WB.
“It was nerve-racking to say the least,” she said. “Not having any byes is kind of what loosened me up. By the time I got to my last game, I was tired but I pushed through.”
The Chicago resident beat Pam Urbanczyk 148-145 in the title match.