The 2018 Nationals were uncharacteristically unproductive for the Central Division representatives. It started even before the tournament started with pairs skip Rob Behncke losing his balance while jumping from post to post on the beach and breaking his ankle only two days before the start of the event. Normally the second place team would then be the entrant. However, with such short notice, only Leif Andresen from the second place finishers was able to fill in. Leif arrived in Florida about 9PM before the start of games the next day to play with Jim Cavender. Despite Leif’s lack of practice, Jim & Leif were very competitive, highlighted by games against two of the teams which tied for first place that were determined by the last bowl. Also, the scurrilous accusations that Leif was somehow responsible for Rob’s broken ankle have no basis in fact. Rob’s brother has video proof. Rob was married a week after the tournament. Despite being hobbled by crutches, he managed to do a stand up job of it.
In the Men’s Singles, Bob Schneider was on track to finish in second place. He was ahead in the last end of his final game when his opponent trailed the jack in the ditch on his last bowl causing Bob to finish in fourth place. Anna Witt and Rebecca Nguyen were also very competitive but finished back in the pack. Jim, Leif, Anna, Rebecca, and Bob are all former National Champions, so I’m sure that better days are ahead as well as behind.
The best news from this event was the win of Steve Nelson in the Men’s Pairs. Steve is two or three years removed from the Central Division, but he is still one of us. Way to go Steve.