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Ziegler adds state championships to her bowling resume

Elizabeth Ziegler is shown with her state championship medallions and the 25-year state participation plaque she received from the Wisconsin Bowling Congress.

Elizabeth Ziegler has been one of the premier women's bowlers in New Richmond for more than two decades.

Now, she's taken that success to the state level.

Ziegler won two state titles in the 2012 Wisconsin Bowling Association Championship Tournament. Ziegler won the Division 2 Singles Handicap with a series score of 856. There were 2,602 bowlers across the state who competed in this division. Ziegler also won the Division 2 Singles Scratch title with a series score of 609.

The state championships come in Ziegler's 25th year of bowling in the state championships. She also placed seventh in the All Events Handicap category in Division 2.

Her 609 scratch series that produced the 856 handicap series was bowled on April 28. Ziegler started the series with a 195 and she rolled a 170 in the second game. It was the third game that propelled her to a state championship. Ziegler bowls 200 games frequently and she delivered one at a most opportune time. She finished the series with a 244 game, rocketing her to the top of the state rankings.

Ziegler and teammates Mary Bentley, Jan Hendrickson and Renee Thanig had bowled late in the tournament this year, on the tournament's final weekend. She said they don't usually bowl that late in the event, but it was the only time they all could fit the tournament into their calendar. When she bowled the high series, she thought it had a good chance of standing up as the winner. Ziegler said with a laugh that the only downside to her state championship is that she will likely be moved up to compete in Division 1 next year.

Ziegler said winning the state championship wasn't a goal.

"We just go to have fun," she said. "We left Thursday and we didn't bowl until Saturday afternoon. We antiqued the whole way."

Ziegler and Bentley joked that the bowling trips around the state have become an opportunity to scout out antique shops.

The group had considerable success at state. Bentley and Ziegler took 89th out of 1,309 doubles teams. Hendrickson placed 194th in singles and Thanig took 36th out of 2,343 entrants in the Division 1 All Events category.

As a team, Ziegler, Bentley, Hendrickson and Thanig placed 17th out of 634 entries.

You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone as dedicated to bowling as Ziegler. She's had perfect attendance in the New Richmond Monday Afternoon League since 1991. In the Tuesday Women's League, she hasn't missed a night since 2001. She has bowled in the state tournament every year since 1987. She's been bowling in leagues for 32 years.

Her efforts with the Monday Afternoon League include 22 straight years as the league's secretary/treasurer. She's been an officer in the Western Wisconsin Women's Bowling Association since 1993, including the past 12 years as Sergeant at Arms. She's been a member of the association's championship team in four of the past seven years.

Her bowling career is filled with some lofty results. She's had season best averages of 171 twice in her career. Her career best game of 259 was bowled in 1997 and her best series was bowled in 1994.