The wait is over for Diana Camacho.
The veteran kegler topped Saipan Bowling Association's Budweiser 2012 Queen of the Lanes Tournament, recording her first victory since ruling the same annual competition in 2007. Camacho, who defeated 2006 champion Gina Sablan in the 2007 finale, ended her four-year drought after slipping past Yho Villavicencio in the finals, 173-161, last Sunday at the Capital Bowling Center.
The Camacho-Villavicencio duel for the Queen of the Lanes tiara was arranged after the latter defeated Tess Fabie in the battle for the second and last finals berth, 181-134. The three female bowlers made it to the stepladder finals after taking the Top 3 spots in the eight-game qualifying tournament.
Camacho reigned supreme in the qualifier after collecting 1,383 pinfalls and averaging 172.88 pinfalls in eight games. She posted at least 200 pinfalls in Games 2 (200), 6 (206) and 7 (202) and adding her 112, 173, 159, 147, and 184 in the four other games. She won the qualifier by 58 pinfalls and gained an automatic finals berth.
Villavicencio placed second in the qualifier with her 1,325, drilling 200-plus pinfalls only once (216 in Game 8). She averaged 165.63 pinfalls after tallying 144, 157, 192, 156, 134, 147, and 179 in the first seven games.
Fabie made the last cut in the qualifier with her third-best 1,281 pinfalls. She had her best showing in Game 4 (180 pinfalls) and averaged 160.13 after collecting 148, 167, 179, 154, 143, 132, and 178 in the seven other games.
Eight other female keglers, including back-to-back champion Gloria Omechelang, missed the next round of the season-ending tournament. Omechelang earned only 1,167 pinfalls and finished seventh behind Carol McKenzie and Elena Soll, who tied for fourth and fifth with their similar 1,247 pinfalls, and Cora Muna (1,222). Others eliminated after the eight-game qualifier were Carrie Camacho (1,149), Gigi Zapanta (1,145), Lala Taitano (1,138), and Diane Chong (1,078).
Villavicencio, who figured in the stepladder finals of the three of the last four Queen of the Lanes season-ending tournament, excluding last weekend's event, kept her hopes alive after dispatching Fabie in the playoff game. Then, against Camacho, Villavicencio must win twice to end her own drought, however the former was right on the money in the first game to hand the latter another bridesmaid finish. (Saipan Tribune)