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June 1, 2004

Deafness, Disability Don't Keep Kansan Off Lanes for WIBC Championship Tournament

From: - Jun 1, 2004

Chelsea Shrum entered a Special Olympics bowling competition in grade school and fell in love with the sport. She bowled in junior leagues for four years, then mixed and women's leagues for the past five years in Iola, Kan. She added an accomplishment to her bowling resume this week, competing in her first national tournament at the 85th annual Women's International Bowling Congress Championship Tournament in Wichita.

Chelsea, who turns 22 next week, was born deaf and with cerebral palsy, a chronic disorder impairing control of movement. She bowled on the team Kathy's Candles & More with her mother, Sue; grandmother, Pat Wright of La Harpe, Kan.; aunt, Kathy Ebensteiner of Willamina, Ore.; and Georgia Wood, also of Oregon. The team competed in Division 3 (651 avg. thru 745) and finished with a 2,087 total.

Chelsea, who carries a 78 average, competed in Division 4 singles (130 avg. and under) and doubles (260 avg. and under). Her high series and high game came in doubles, where she rolled 50, 76 and 91 for 217.

Chelsea's career high-game is 136, but no matter what she bowls she always has a smile on her face. She serves as sergeant of arms for the Iola Women's Bowling Association and was recently voted most improved bowler.

Other happenings at the WIBC Tournament:

* Kim Austin of Havre, Mont., bowled a career-high 264 in her first game of Division 2 singles competition on Tuesday. The pinfall was 113 over her average. Austin, 36, has bowled for five years and her previous high game was 234. "I had three straight strikes, opened in the fourth frame then struck out until the last ball with a seven," said Austin, who was competing in her first nationals and second tournament ever. "I was shaking quite a bit, and then I kinda fell apart the next game." Austin continued her series with a 116 and 143 for 523.

* RK Bowl, a team from Fall River, Kan., has taken over third place in Division 3 competition. Teammates Julie Robbins, Earlene Devoe, Tara Hughes, Brenda Ward and Lisa McMullen combined for a 2,377 total. Ward had the team's best game with a 220, while McMullen had the highest three-game series, rolling 173, 178 and 203 for 554.

Check for the latest scores.

Women's International Bowling Congress
The WIBC is the world's oldest and largest women's sports membership organization with more than 1.2 million members. WIBC's mission is to identify and fulfill the needs of women bowlers.

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