The provincial open 5-pin bowling championship is returning to Brandon for the second time in three years, and there’s hope that Westman’s bowlers will be able to advance to nationals.
Thunderbird Bowl will be the host alley for provincials, which includes men’s, women’s and mixed team play as well as men’s and women’s singles. The event starts today and wraps up on Saturday. The Westman, Central and Winnipeg regions will be represented in Brandon with the top men’s and women’s team and individuals advancing to Calgary for nationals in May.
Brad Rusnak, the president of the Westman 5-pin Bowlers’ Association, is hopeful that some of Westman’s competitors, who are from Brandon, Shilo and Carberry, will qualify for Calgary, and he’d really like to see the men’s team — made up of Garry Hamm, Ethan Buckman, Terry Wikstrom, Brad Stevenson, Trevor Rae and Jerry Sayer — finally break through.
"The last couple years we’ve had some really good men’s teams that just fell short and I hope the third time is the charm this year," he said. "The truth is, the Westman men’s team has never won the men’s championship. It’s amazing really with the number of years we’ve had this tournament and it’s always been Winnipeg, Central and the North that have won the event. We really have about as good of a team as we can have this year, so it would be great to see it finally happen. It’s long overdue."
The Central region has some bowlers from Neepawa and Minnedosa.
It didn’t take long for Brandon to get the provincial open back, and Rusnak is hoping it’s just as successful this year as it was in 2012.
"We’re really excited to have the opportunity to have it," he said. "A couple years ago it was so exciting and the scoring was fantastic. We had a perfect game bowled by a Winnipegger, so everyone was pretty excited to have a nod to come out to Brandon again."