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Wright leads three events in the opening weekend of SMCBA Open tourney

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Richard Wright holds the top position in three events, according to the unofficial first-weekend leaderboard of the annual Sarasota-Manatee County USBC Bowling Association's Open Championship Tournament, being contested at AMF Venice Lanes.

With another weekend of action yet to come (on March 1-2), Wright leads the handicap all-events standings with a nine-game pinfall of 2,193. In addition, he leads B Division singles (averages of 175-under) with 775, and he is a member of the No. 1 B Division team (879-under), called Thrown Together.

The only other competitor to hold the top spot in more than one event is Ashley Christensen. Also a member of the Thrown Together team, she paired with Paula Wenzel as the top duo in B Division doubles (351-under) with 1,400.

In addition to Wright and Christensen, other members of Thrown Together are Barb Ripley, Gina Quiroz and Craig Ripley. The team's first-place score is 3,472.

With a 3,561 pinfall, the Division A team (880-up) leader, Last Minute, consists of Larry Butler, Sandy Combs, Kenny Combs, Bruce Combs and Richard McLaughlin.

Others in the top positions at the tourney's halfway point are: Michael Clark and Bubba Simmons in Division A doubles (352-over) at 1,442; Leroy Wagler in A singles (176-up) at 732; and Jeff Stapleton in scratch all-events at 2,176.

The current top three in each of the tournament events:

  • DIVISION A TEAM: 1, Last Minute (Larry Butler, Sandy Combs, Kenny Combs, Bruce Combs, Richard McLaughlin) 3,561; 2, Jackson Dental Center (Carl Craddock, Leroy Wagler, Tracy Jackson, Rick Evans, James McKelly) 3,352; 3, Scanvangers (Paul Farmer, Reed Torsell, Josh Merkle, Terry Wood, Pepe Smith) 3,348.
  • DIVISION B TEAM: Thrown Together (Barb Ripley, Ashley Christensen, Richard Wright, Gina Quiroz, Craig Ripley) 3,472; 2, Misfits (Pete Rifner, Pete Rifner Jr., Anne-Marie Olin, Jane Olin, Chris Olin) 3,295); 3, Keene Automotive (Fred Shaffer Sr., Bruce Combs, Fred Shaffer Jr., Hitch Baier, Danny Shaffer) 3,179.
  • DIVISION A DOUBLES: 1, Mike Clark and Bubba Simmons 1,442; 2, Ed Freshwater and Nick Wagner 1,421; 3, Bob Pazur and Joe Murray 1,399.
  • DIVISION B DOUBLES: 1, Ashley Christensen and Paula Wenzel 1,400; 2, Bruce Combs and Sandy Combs 1,318; 3, Gina Quiroz and Richard Wright 1,316.
  • DIVISION A SINGLES: 1, Leroy Wagler 732; 2, Joe Murray 726; 3, Craig Ripley 711.
  • DIVISION B SINGLES: 1, Richard Wright 775; 2, Sandy Combs 685; 3, Gina Quiroz 675.
  • HANDICAP ALL-EVENTS: 1, Richard Wright 2,193; 2, Jeff Stapleton 2,176; 3, Joe Murray 2,105.
  • SCRATCH ALL-EVENTS: 1, Jeff Stapleton 2,176; 2, Joe Murray 2,105; 3, Nick Wagner 1,980.

[You may subscribe to Bill Herald's Examiner.com bowling columns -- free of charge -- by clicking on "subscribe" near the top of the article, after which you will receive e-mail notification each time a new item is published].

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