She might not be a Wichita native, but Lynda Barnes was accorded a good helping of hometown affection during her qualifying matches Friday during the PWBA Wichita Open at Northrock Lanes.
Strikes brought some scattered applause; the one pin that wouldn’t fall for a strike elicited a collective groan.
“That always makes it more fun,” Barnes said, “because you dig in a little bit. I want to bowl well for them, and for me, and for everybody.”
In between turns, she greeted some friends with a hug, then quickly got back for her next ball.
Barnes persevered through it, smiling all the way.
A 1,213 total during the day’s second six-game qualifying block sent Barnes into Saturday’s cashers’ round. Barnes’ 12-game total of 2,374 was good for 30th place. The top 32 advanced. Siti Rathman led qualifying with 2,665. Wichita State junior Hollyann Johansen was 12th after qualifying, and former Shocker Daria Kovalova was 29th. Full results can be found here.
”I’m very lucky,” Barnes said during a break between the six-game qualifying rounds. “I kind of make people adopt me when I get there. We have a lot of ‘adopted family’ here, and Wichita’s always special to me.”
And why not? Her husband, Chris, is a Wichita State product who still is on the Professional Bowlers Association tour.
“I grew up in northern California, then I met Chris, and I moved to Wichita,” Barnes said. “We were here for five years.”
Barnes has competed in Wichita the past two years.
“I wouldn’t miss this stop,” she said.
It might seem somewhat rare for married couples to be on their respective bowling tours, but Barnes said that’s not the case.
“There’s several,” she said. “Carolyn (Dorin-Ballard) and Del (Ballard), there’s several. It’s nice, because the people who are married that are together with bowlers, we understand what each other is going through.
“It’s a tough way to make a living. It’s a tough way of travel, and we have kids at home.”
That would be twin sons, Troy and Ryan, who were born in 2002.
In addition to her battles at the bowling alley, Barnes was forced into another battle when Troy was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at age 6. A logo for “Strike Out Diabetes” adorns Barnes’ bowling jersey.
“We started an organization to help (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) raise funds,” she said. “We’ve raised about $375,000, and 2010 was our first year. It’s the only way I can make him better is to help find a cure somewhere.
“My passion and my heart are there.”
She said she hopes the organization will lead to more awareness of the disease.
“I don’t think many people understand – and we really didn’t understand diabetes, Type I vs. Type II or any of that until he was diagnosed. We try, and we do the best we can. We just educate and try to raise money, and hopefully one day there’s a cure.”
Being at the PWBA tournament is nice, but Barnes said she prefers to be part of a team.
“I’m much more of a team player,” she said. “This is a little too serious for me. I find, as I’m getting older, that I miss the team stuff. I made the senior team this year; we’re going to the world championships in Germany (in August), which is fun to say. It’s Carolyn (Dorin-Ballard), Leanne Hulsenberg (both competing in Wichita) and Tish Johnson.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I think it will be a lot of fun.”
After qualifying Friday, the 32 best scores will advance to Saturday’s Cashers’ round at 8:30 a.m., and the top 12 from there will go on to match play at 1 p.m., with the stepladder finals producing two winners who will advance to the PWBA finals June 21-25 in Green Bay, Wis.
Saturday, Northrock Lanes
- Cashers’ round, 8:30 a.m.
- Match play, 1 p.m.
- Stepladder finals, 5 p.m.