CHICAGO – The Professional Bowlers Association has announced that Wichita State University Shocker bowler and member of Team Puerto Rico Kristie Lopez is the winner of the 2017 PBA Billy Welu Scholarship Award.
Entering her senior year at Wichita State with a 3.5 grade point average, Lopez, who is from Ponce, Puerto Rico, is majoring in graphic design with a minor in marketing and management. As captain of Wichita State’s women’s team, she led the Shockers to a second-place finish in the 2016 Intercollegiate Team Championships. Her women’s Shockers team also won the 2017 Hoosier Classic.
Named to three all-tournament teams during the 2016-17 season (Las Vegas Invitational, Jayhawk Classic and Leatherneck Classic), she also earned National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Honorable Mention honors in 2015-16 and 2016-17. She earned International Bowling Media Association Collegiate Bowler of the Year honorable mention honors in 2016.
Among her other bowling accomplishments were a fifth-place finish in the 2016 PABCON all events and 12th-place finish in the 2016 Women’s World Singles Championships.
“I’m very happy to have won this scholarship not only for me but for my parents because they have supported me ever since I started bowling,” said the 22-year-old Lopez. “They have been there for me ever since I started bowling at age 7.”
After she completes college, Lopez plans to bowl on the PWBA Tour and continue to represent Puerto Rico in international competition.
“Finishing school is my priority but then I plan to bowl on tour,” Lopez added. “I also will continue to represent Puerto Rico because that is very important to me.”
The $1,000 scholarship award was established to annually recognize a college student who combines outstanding bowling talents with academic excellence. Welu, who passed away in 1974, was best known for his expert analysis alongside legendary ABC broadcaster and PBA Hall of Famer Chris Schenkel on the “Pro Bowlers Tour” series. Welu was a two-time PBA Tour champion and a member of the PBA Hall of Fame’s inaugural induction class in 1975.
BILLY WELU SCHOLARSHIP AWARD WINNERS
2017 – Kristie Lopez (Wichita State)
2016 – Sydney Brummett (Wichita State)
2015 – Ramon Hilferink (Webber International)
2014 – Melanie Hannon (Fairleigh Dickinson)
2013 – Katie Thornton (Webber International)
2012 – Danielle McEwan (Fairleigh Dickinson)
2011 – Kristina Frahm (Maryland Eastern Shore)
2010 – Kim Yioulos (Pikeville)
2009 – Elizabeth Seibel (Penn State)
2008 – Heather D’Errico (Robert Morris-Illinois)
2007 – Ricki Williams (Wichita State)
2006 – Jerrod Reece (Creighton University)
2005 – Mandy Pezzano (U of Penn)
2004 – Holly Pusok (University of Houston)
2003 – Robby Spigner (Indiana University)
2002 – N/A
2001 – Jennie Snoddy (Notre Dame College of Ohio)
2000 – Jackie Edwards (Cal State-Fresno)
1999 – Steven Svetlik (University of Illinois-Chicago)
1998 – Nicholas Hoagland (Indiana University)
1997 – Preston Brunswig (Wichita State)
1996 – Brenda Dosher (University of Southern Indiana)
1995 – Michael Lamont (University of Florida)
1994 – Joe Ciccone (Erie Community College)
1993 – N/A
1992 – Stephen Dale Jr. (Northeastern University)
1991 – Kari Murph (Morehead State)
1990 – Kimberly Berke (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
1989 – Ronni Shehorn (San Jose State)
1988 – Julie Powell (University of Michigan)
1987 – N/A
1986 – Paul Kaib (University of Florida)
1985 – Curt Pezzano (University of Miami (Fla))
1984 – Michelle Mullen (University of Illinois)
1983 – Jeri Edwards (Penn State)
1982 – Patricia Bowie (Arizona State)