The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

December 22, 2012

Henry: Kreiger finds motivation

Peggy Kreiger has always preferred tournament bowling.

“I love tournaments. I bowl better in tournaments,” she said. “I get a little more serious. I think I’ve invested money, I need to get money back. I just always bowled better in tournaments.”

Kreiger bowled in her first-ever state tournament in October. In the Missouri USBC Senior Women’s Championships at Starlite Lanes in Lebanon, she won the Division 4 (ages 60-64) singles title and took second in all-events.

Kreiger shot a 538 scratch series in singles — second highest among 38 entries in the division — and won with a 670 handicap total, 33 pins ahead of the field.

Kreiger bowled doubles with partner Jessie Gartner, and while they did not finish high, Kreiger’s 1,228 handicap total was good for second place in all-events. Melissa Kemble, of Carroll County, won all-events with 1,218 after placing second in singles and doubles.

There wasn’t any danger of Kreiger losing her high finishes, since she bowled in the final set of the final day of the tournament (Oct. 28). And, a bit of irony didn’t escape her.

“I live in Kansas. They’ll probably disqualify me,” the Crestline resident said with a laugh.

This was not Kreiger’s first tournament success. Back in the early 1970s she bowled on a team that won first place in its division in a national WIBC tournament in Kansas City.

“I also placed in singles and doubles,” she said. “I came home with a pretty good chunk of money — a good chunk of money back then.”

Kreiger then quit bowling for 30 years.

“I totally got burned out,” she said. “I was bowling too many nights a week. Then I got married, and he didn’t bowl, so it would not have worked out for me to bowl. My husband passed away almost five years ago.

“Next month it will be two years ago that I came back bowling. A friend of mine asked me to come out and fill in because her sister could not bowl. I said why not ... and here I am.

“It was one of the women I went to Kansas City with. We have always been friends. She (Gladys Gandy) asked me, and I probably would not have done it for anyone else, but I did for her. She got me back out to the bowling alley.”

Kreiger is back with another full bowling schedule — leagues at Route 66 Bowl on Monday and Wednesday (plus a Friday night league that ended last week), at Bowl East on Thursday night plus a once-a-month traveling league.

Kreiger started bowling when she was a student at Galena.

“Crown Lanes (now Route 66) was built in 1959,” she said. “In 1960 Opal Roberts, our school librarian, formed a Saturday morning league for the kids. That’s when I started bowling, and I got hooked. Between bowling and roller skating and softball, I was a busy person.”

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