Chicagoan Har­ris tak­ing aim at car in women’s fi­nals

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY DALE BOW­MAN

Deborah Har­ris of Chicago hopes to go strong Sun­day in the women’s fi­nals of Beat the Cham­pi­ons.

‘‘I started work part-time at FedEx as a pack­age han­dler [in Oc­to­ber], and lift­ing 45- to 70-pound boxes must have helped my arms get stronger,’’ said Har­ris, a re­tired sales man­ager.

The women’s fi­nals for the 55th BTC be­gin at noon at Lan-Oak Lanes in Lans­ing.

‘‘I think [the lift­ing] gives me more stay­ing power,’’ Har­ris said. ‘‘Be­fore, I was a lit­tle bit slow. Be­fore, I had a lazy ball. Now, it has snap.’’

Har­ris ad­vanced out of one of the sto­ried leagues in the Chicago area, the South­side Stenos at AMF For­est Lanes. She en­ters BTC ev­ery year and reached the fi­nals for the first time.

BTC, co-spon­sored by the Sun­Times and the Chicagoland Bowl­ing Pro­pri­etors As­so­ci­a­tion, has raised more than $2.7 mil­lion from more than 5.7 mil­lion en­tries in its first 54 years.

Har­ris said she hasn’t bowled at Lan-Oak and doesn’t plan to prac­tice there be­fore­hand.

‘‘I think the day of the fi­nals, the pat­tern will change,’’ she said. ‘‘Plus, you move across four lanes.’’

In the fi­nals, bowlers bowl four games and jump a pair of lanes af­ter each game. In BTC, bowlers who av­er­age less than 210 re­ceive 90 per­cent of the dif­fer­ence as hand­i­cap.

‘‘I am go­ing for the car; I want me a new car,’’ said Har­ris, who has a 135 av­er­age and will re­ceive 270 pins of hand­i­cap. ‘‘I will take any­thing else, but I re­ally want the car.’’

All 32 fi­nal­ists will re­ceive prizes. The top prize for the women and the men (next Sun­day at Elk Grove Bowl) is a Ford Fo­cus from the Chicagoland Ford Deal­ers.

‘‘I am just ex­cited to par­tic­i­pate,’’ Har­ris said. ‘‘I am telling all my fam­ily and friends. Then I was think­ing maybe I will be ner­vous. But bowl­ing is fun. And that is what I do it for.’’

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Bow­manOut­side.

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