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Giovinco claims berth in Team USA regionals

Tampa's Lucy Giovinco keeps coming up a winner. Giovinco beat Orlando's Gene Range by one pin in the Florida state Team USA-92 finals June 2 at Apopka's Wekiva Lanes. Giovinco, plus five other women and the top six men, advanced to the regionals in Montgomery, Ala., June 29-30.

St. Petersburg's Mike Buchanan finished third in the men's division with a 1,778 over nine games. Fred Torr of St. Cloud won the title.

While Giovinco is savoring her second state Team USA title (she won her first try in 1987), she and partner Cindy Coburn-Carroll are also holding their breath. They hold the WIBC Championship Open Division doubles lead with a 1,318 total with just 10 days left in the event at Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"Winning a WIBC title is definitely another personal goal," said Giovinco, who usually hits what she aims at. "However, I thought our best shot at a WIBC title would come in the team division. I bowled with Pat Costello (WIBC Hall of Famer); Dana Miller-Mackie (LPBT pro); Dee Alvarez (Lucy's longtime friend and coach) and Coburn-Carroll. That's quite a powerhouse team, but we're tied for ninth place." Giovinco is sixth in the WIBC All-Events division.

Giovinco has competed in every state final since Team USA began in 1987, when she first won it. She won regional titles in that same year and again in 1989. However, not until last year did Giovinco finally earn a Team USA berth after falling short in previous national finals. She is the first American woman to win the FIQ World Cup, earning the title in 1976 in Tehran, Iran.

"Once you're on Team USA, you never want to leave it," Giovinco said. "You get to travel all over the world and compete against international bowlers, and the friendships you develop last a lifetime."

Last year, when longtime friend and Team USA member Linda Kelly left the team, Giovinco was named first alternate. She traveled to the British Isles for team and individual competition and finished well.

Giovinco also attended the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for a seminar. "I got more focused on the game mentally than in all my years in the sport," she said.

Giovinco will compete in the Team USA regional, travel to Los Angeles for Olympic Festival '91 competition July 13-17, then back to Atlanta for the Team USA national showdown July 21-27. If she finishes in the top six women there, Giovinco will keep her Team USA dream alive.

WIBC Championship update: The Jolly Ladies from Philadelphia took the Division I team lead with a 2,751 after the eighth week of competition. Lina Rincon and Bonnie Van Steenburg of San Antonio, Texas, grabbed the division's doubles lead with a 1,227 pinfall. The tournament ends June 20.

ABC Championship update: The tournament ended May 26 with four records established, including 72 perfect 300 games, and a total prize payout of nearly $1.5-million.

Florida bowlers did not fare well. Only two teams, from Merritt Island and Jacksonville, finished in the top 100. Only one doubles team and two singles competitors from Florida finished in the top 100.

Women's regionals scheduled: The Ladies Professional Bowlers Tour (LPBT) last week named Sonny Carr of Athens, Ga., as its new Southeastern Region tournament director.

That's good news for Florida women bowlers who are looking for tougher tournament competition on a level just below the women's tour.

Carr talks like he's got the Southeast events ready to go. "We have seven or eight regionals pretty well set, two of them in Florida," Carr said. "When we finalize them, we hope to have applications for the regionals at major centers in the Southeast."

Entry fees and sites should be announced in the next three weeks, Carr said. The region covers seven Southeastern states. Interested bowlers may contact Carr at (404) 548-1028 in Athens, Ga.

Hoskins quits: Steve Hoskins, 1989 PBA Rookie of the Year from Tarpon Springs, has decided to quit the PBA tour.

A week ago Saturday, on national television, Hoskins and partner Phil Ringener of Big Springs, Texas, finished second to Bob Benoit and Del Ballard Jr. in the $125,000 PBA Beaumont, Texas, Doubles Classic.

"That most realistically was my last PBA national stop," Hoskins said last week. "After weighing all that has happened in my 2{ years on the tour, I've decided to hang it up and go to school."

Hoskins, 22, won the 1989 Rookie of the Year honors after earning nearly $40,000 his freshman year on the tour.

Around The Lanes: NABI is at Imperial Lanes in Temple Terrace and Mariner Lanes in Spring Hill next weekend. More than 40 Suncoast NABI tournament winners are eligible to compete in the NABI Nationals in Las Vegas this weekend. The American Wheelchair Bowling Association's (AWBA) 30th annual national championship is June 24-29 at Largo Lanes.