Consecutive titles is goal for Vernon

Mitch Vernon will try to become the first bowler to win back-to-back titles in the Olympia Match Game Bowling Championship this weekend.

More than 60 of Thurston County’s top bowlers will complete in the two-day tournament that begins at noon today at the Westside Lanes in Olympia.

Vernon will face some tough competition. There are 15 past winners entered, including three two-time winners – Rich Cook, Frank DeRemer and Jimmy Parkhurst.

The defending champ is still among the favorites entered in the 31st edition of the tournament.

Other past champions are Denny Bolton, Denney Dawson, Duane MacDonald, Mike Clement, Dale Myers, Jerry Wilson, Dwayne Webb, Mike O’Malley, Dan Wilson, Justin Clement, Corey Hensley and Dick Taylor.

“A person can bowl well, shoot a 250 and catch someone who gets hot and bowls 260,” said Taylor, who is also the tournament director.

“It’s the luck of the draw.”

Taylor said bowlers can still sign up. Entry fee is $120. Bowlers have to live in Thurston County to enter.

The field will be split into two groups after the qualifying round with half going to Tumwater Lanes, the other half going to Aztec Lanes at 3 p.m. today.

The top 32 bowlers of the day advance to Sunday’s round, which begins at 9 a.m. at Westside Lanes for the double-elimination match-play finals. A best-of-three championship series for the two finalists will begin at about 1 p.m.