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September 4, 2007 > Lucy Higgs: Bowling Star

Lucy Higgs: Bowling Star

By Anuja Seith

It sounds like thunder as the ball rolls down a bowling lane smashing white and red pins. As the pins tumble, excitement builds, hands clap, and spectators cheer nimble players at the senior bowling tournament, especially Lucy Higgs at 96 years old. But as you watch her roar with exhilaration every time the pins fall or pump her fists when a fat round pin refuses to fall, her energy and passion for the game are impressive even before learning of her knee surgery.

An avid reader born in Okalahoma and now resident of California, Higgs started watching others bowl after her retirement from an army base in Utah. "I was first introduced to the game by my lady friend, since then I have loved it," she says. In 1962 Lucy started bowling and a year later, she started playing she was awarded a pin for the most enthusiastic bowler.

In 1980 Higgs began playing for the California Women Bowling Association that organizes a senior woman bowling tournament, which invites women from all over California, who have a current membership card and satisfy the age requirement. Recently the group held their 26th annual tournament at Clover Leaf Bowl in Fremont. The alleys buzzed with excitement as women and their families from Crescent City to San Diego arrived to compete. Higgs came from Dos Palos in Central California for this three day event, where she received a participation achievement 20 year senior award.

"The tournament is a brain child of Agnes Duffy, who started it for enjoyment," says Judy Hartman, Director California United States Bowling Congress Association. The players are classified according to their age, the youngest at 55 and the oldest group, known as "super seniors" are 75 and above.

Higgs is now waiting for a letter from the association that will reveal her scores and hopefully an invitation to Reno for play in the National Senior Tournament. As she waits expectantly, she chuckles about the next CWBA tournament to be held in Santa Maria in 2008. "In any game and tournament I feel excited about smashing pins down and picking splits and spare," she says. When she is not playing, her eyes are glued to television or to a live match in a local bowling alley where she goes to watch her favorite game.

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