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Local Bowlers Return to Their Sport and Take Off for National Tournament in Vegas

Two local bowlers are heading to Vegas to test their skills at the AMF Bowling Centers national tournament, taking place April 8 and 9 at the Orleans Hotel & Casino. The first-place winners of the tournament, "the year's richest," according to a news release, will receive $50,000 (one prize per division). Both local "twinkle toes" returned to the lanes earlier this year after a long hiatus -- and good thing they did!

Jamie Frankel, 29, a Delray Beach graphic designer, hadn't bowled consistently for ten years until he picked it up again six months ago. He joined a league and bought a bowling workout book. Though it isn't widely known as an endurance sport, Frankel says, bowling 30 to 40 games in two days can wear someone down. In addition to endurance training, his workout regimen focuses on upper-body strength and arm strength. The key, he says, is to precisely execute the exact action at every turn -- repetition that earned him a season high of 297 in December. 

Frankel is flying to Vegas on Wednesday with his wife and father. As for plans for the $50,000 he's vying for -- he kicks around the idea of a Jet Ski but says, realistically, the money will provide extra security for him and his wife of one year.

Brian Fogelson, 39, a law office manager who lives in Weston, also earned a spot in the Vegas lineup. He bowled a perfect score at districts after returning to the sport this year following a 15-year hiatus. But qualifying for nationals came with a hitch for Fogelson -- he has a phobia of flying and hasn't done it since he was 13. For him, the national competition was a perfect excuse for a cross-country road trip. His brother-in-law and coworker are driving with him to Vegas, and his father-in-law volunteered to join him for the trip home. His wife and 4-year-old daughter are meeting him there. For him, whatever happens in Vegas... is quite a family affair. 

Fogelson is laid-back about the competition. "I like to win, but I don't necessarily like to make people lose," he says. "My mindset is go and bowl as best I can... I don't want to put any extra pressure on myself." And what would he do with the $50,000? "Isn't that really up to my wife?" he says. Good answer.

To get to Vegas, the bowlers competed in a two-week qualifying period and two weeks of district finals and came out on top. At nationals, they will compete alongside 106 others. Here's to our local stars returning with some hefty pocket change!

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Leslie Minora

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