Local bowler wins state championshipWritten by Sarah Ottney | Editor in Chief | firstname.lastname@example.org
A local woman recently bowled her way to a title that has eluded her for years — an Ohio Queens Tournament champion.
Professional bowler Jodi Woessner of Oregon won the annual singles tournament on Jan. 9 at Roseland Lanes near Cleveland, competing against 123 female bowlers from across Ohio.
“The Queens tourney is the most prestigious, biggest women’s tourney in Ohio,” Woessner said. “I’ve bowled in it close to 20 times and come close to winning an awful lot of times, but this was the first time I won it, so it was a good feeling.”
The victory was even more special because Woessner dedicated it to the memory of her friend, a longtime co-worker at Owens Corning, who had recently died. Her friend’s funeral was held during the qualifying rounds on Jan. 8 and Woessner wasn’t able to go.
“It was just one of those special things,” Woessner said of winning. “I just felt at ease and just knew I was going to win. It was definitely a different feeling than I had had in the past. I just kind of pulled from her strength and remained calm.”
The tournament came down to two undefeated bowlers, Woessner and Lindsey Coulles of Dayton. To win, Woessner had to defeat Coulles twice, which she accomplished with a score of 246-228 in the first match and 248-216 in the second match.
“I thought I was pretty much going to lose it when I realized I had it locked up for the win,” Woessner said. “I kept it together pretty well, although I had tears streaming down my face. It was definitely something special.”
The Lake High School graduate grew up in Millbury and said she has been bowling “pretty much ever since I could walk.”
“My parents were both big-time bowlers and this has always been in my blood,” Woessner said. “It’s something that came naturally to me, not that it’s not a lot of hard work, but I’ve been fortunate to have been very successful and that keeps me motivated.”
Another motivating factor is Woessner’s competitive streak, which came out even more when the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) recently started allowing women to enter tournaments and compete against men.
“That added another dynamic, where not only can you be the best of women, but you can compete against men,” Woessner said.
Woessner has risen to that challenge, as she is one of only six women to have won a PBA regional title against male bowlers. She won hers in 2008, her first year bowling with the PBA, competing against 97 other bowlers, including PBA star Jason Couch. Only one other woman competed in the tournament.
“That kind of kick-started the next couple of years,” Woessner said. “That was a pretty big deal.”