Janesville bowler Banker looking for votes

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011
— Rich Banker of Janesville wants your vote.

Banker, 34, is among the fourth set of four finalists trying to become one of six to receive three days of training and coaching with members of Team USA at the International Bowling Campus in Arlington, Texas, next spring. The contest began in July with 24 candidates divided into six voting periods.

Banker is second among four candidates in a hotly contested election that began Sept. 20 and runs through Monday, Oct. 3. Banker trailed leader Kevin Prior of Allen, Texas, by 384 votes, 10,019 to 9,635, as of 4:30 p.m. Monday.

To vote for Banker, log on to secure.bowl.com/FantasyCampVoting. Voters are allowed one vote per day during the election period.

At the halfway point, Banker said he is feeling the stress, but he is determined to continue going hard on the campaign trail.

“I didn’t expect this kind of ride,” said Banker, who started bowling at 2 years old in the hallway of his grandparents’ home. “I don’t know if it’s stress, but I haven’t bowled very well. Between last Tuesday and Friday, I think I slept seven hours.’’

Banker has not worn a hole in his shoe yet, but he has been working the local lanes hard.

“I hit five bowling alleys in four hours last Thursday,” Banker said Monday afternoon. “I’m still promoting every day. I walk into a bowling alley, talk to people and give them a flier.’’

Banker’s said winning the Texas trip is a positive step toward reaching his dream to bowl professionally and coach.

“It would help me to get to the next level,” Banker said. “It would help my mental game and my approach to bowling.”

Banker earned his candidacy after marking a 250 sport bowling at Rex Lanes in Beloit. Bowlers must mark a 200 sport bowling to qualify as candidates.

Banker had to submit and essay and a 60-second video to explain why he is a worthy candidate for the training school.

Sport bowling requires more skill than recreational league bowling. The lines to the pocket are much tighter, and lane conditions are more demanding.

“You have two boards along the gutter to work with (sport bowling), and on a house shot, you have eight boards down the lane,” Banker said.

Banker said he maintained a 219 average in recreational leagues and a 188 average sport bowling.

Banker competed in several PBA regional tournaments this summer and battled changes in the difficult lane conditions.

“It changes so quickly, you don’t know what ball to shoot,’’ Banker said.

Banker has bowled six 300s between 2000 and this year, and his high series is an 813. Last season, Banker averaged 236 in the Stokes Pub League, 234 in the Weirdo’s Monday Night League at RiversEdge and 188 sport bowling at Rex Lanes.

“I’m a quiet guy,” Banker said. “But this is making me talk to people a lot more. I thank the people for their support.’’

Last updated: 6:15 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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