Romeo Wins Third Consecutive Senior Queens Title

by Bob Johnson 0

RomeoRobin2016SeniorQueensForWeb465x262LAS VEGAS – United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Robin Romeo of Newhall, California, collected a historic win at the 2016 USBC Senior Queens as she captured her third consecutive tiara Thursday at The Orleans Bowling Center.

Romeo bested fellow hall of famer Tish Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the title match, also for the third consecutive time, in dramatic fashion, 198-195, to take home the $3,000 top prize.

Romeo did not deliver her first strike of the championship match until the ninth frame but stayed clean and had the opportunity to throw a double in the 10th frame to shut out Johnson.

She connected on the first shot but failed to get the second, which gave Johnson the chance to win and force a second game for the title. Since the USBC Senior Queens utilizes a true double-elimination format, top-seeded and undefeated Romeo would’ve had to be beaten twice.

“I think the ball I was using was burning up and losing energy, so I thought I could make adjustments with my hand and feet, and I kept fiddling back and forth,” said Romeo, who defeated Johnson, 619-600, to earn the top seed for the stepladder. “I jumped two right with my feet in the 10th because I knew I had to get the ball to finish in the pocket. I rolled it off my hand, and it reacted perfectly. I knew if I got the second one, I would shut her out, and after I missed, I really thought we were going to bowl another game.”

Johnson needed to double to secure the win but left her third 10 pin of the match on her first offering. The 2016 event marked the fourth consecutive year Johnson has finished in the runner-up position.

Last year, Romeo became the first player in Senior Queens history to successfully defend her title, and she now joins USBC Hall of Famer Sandra Postma as the tournament’s only three-time champions.

“All of my matches were tough today, and I think that helped me stay focused and not give anything away,” Romeo said. “To think about winning three in a row is crazy. I’m still in shock.”

Johnson made her fifth consecutive stepladder appearance at the event and defeated Australia’s Robyn Flynn in the semifinals, 222-167, to advance to the title match.

Flynn edged Karen Barcal of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the second match of the stepladder, 209-193, while Barcal kicked off the championship round with a win over 2011 Senior Queens champion Paula Vidad of Sun City, California, 202-169.

A four-player shootout round determined the No. 3, No. 4 and No. 5 seeds for the stepladder, and that came down to the final frame as Flynn delivered a 279 game to jump from being the first player out to the third seed with a 660 three-game total.

Barcal fired 641 to earn the fourth seed, and Vidad snuck into the fifth spot with 623 after Australia’s Jeanette Baker delivered a six-count on her fill ball to finish sixth with 622.

All competitors at the 2016 Senior Queens bowled 15 games of qualifying over two days to determine the 31 players who would join Romeo in the double-elimination match-play bracket. Match play consisted of three-game matches with total pinfall determining who advanced.’s BowlTV featured wire-to-wire coverage of the 2016 event.

For more information on the USBC Senior Queens, visit

United States Bowling Congress
The United States Bowling Congress serves as the national governing body of bowling as recognized by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). USBC conducts championship events nationwide including the largest participation sporting events in the world – the USBC Open and Women’s Championships – and professional events such as the USBC Masters and USBC Queens.

Founded in 1895, today USBC and its 2,500 state and local associations proudly serve more than a million members. USBC is headquartered in Arlington, Texas, working toward a future for the sport. The online home for USBC is

2016 USBC Senior Queens
At The Orleans Bowling Center, Las Vegas
Thursday’s results

Double elimination, three-game matches decided by total pinfall

(Winners remain in winners bracket. Losers move to elimination bracket.)

(1) Tish Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo., def. (8) Kristy Whitcher, Belfair, Wash., 682-623
(12) Karen Barcal, Albuquerque, N.M., def. (29) Sandra Schultz, Macomb, Mich., 592-565
(30) Robyn Flynn, Australia, def. (22) Rosanne Costanzo, San Diego, 587-519
(2) Robin Romeo, Newhall, Calif., def. (7) Sharon Powers, Lakewood, Colo., 659-645

(Losers eliminated, earn $450)

(6) Beth Owen-Cipielewski, Bradenton, Fla., def. (20) Karen Miller, Las Vegas, 617-576
(5) Paula Vidad, Sun City, Calif., def. (10) Michele Carter, National City, Calif., 591-520
(27) Jeanette Baker, Australia, def. (3) Barbara Batt, Jacksonville, Fla., 646-575
(15) Lucy Sandelin, Tampa, Fla., def. (26) Deborah Lee, Canada, 725-526

Johnson def. Barcal, 652-564
Romeo def. Flynn, 724-614

(Losers eliminated, earn $500)

Owen-Cipielewski def. Schultz, 595-535
Vidad def. Whitcher, 632-618
Baker def. Powers, 573-559
Sandelin def. Costanzo, 607-562

(Winner earns No. 1 seed for stepladder; loser is No. 2 seed)

Romeo def. Johnson, 619-600

(Losers eliminated, earn $550)

Vidad def. Owen-Cipielewski, 565-538
Baker def. Sandelin, 613-550

(Three highest scores advance to stepladder, high score is No. 3 seed, second high is No. 4, third high is No. 5, lowest score is eliminated, earns $700).

Flynn 660, Barcal 641, Vidad 623, Baker 622

Final standings

1, Robin Romeo, Newhall, Calif., 198 (one game), $3,000
2, Tish Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo., 417 (two games), $1,500
3, Robyn Flynn, Australia, 376 (two games), $1,250
4, Karen Barcal, Albuquerque, N.M., 395 (two games), $1,000
5, Paula Vidad, Sun City, Calif., 169 (one game), $750

Stepladder results

Match One – Barcal def. Vidad, 202-169
Match Two – Flynn def. Barcal, 209-193
Semifinal – Johnson def. Flynn, 222-167
Championship – Romeo def. Johnson, 198-195

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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