When Liz Johnson became the first female bowler to ever advance to the championship round at a PBA event last month, Jodi Woessner could relate.
Woessner, a 35-year-old from Oregon, has accomplished similar feats at the local level. Woessner is the only woman to ever win the prestigious Toledo City Tournament title and has consistently kept up with local male bowlers.
For that and countless other accomplishments, Woessner was recently inducted into the Ohio Women's Bowling Association Hall of Fame under the Superior Performance category.
"This is my biggest accomplishment. But I think if it weren't for all the other things I wouldn't have gotten this one," Woessner said.
Perhaps Woessner's most impressive feat came in March of last year when she became the first woman to ever win the Greater Toledo Bowling Association City Tournament. Her scratch average of 247 bested 89 of the area's high-end bowlers - male and female.
"Bowling well against the best men in the Toledo area makes me most proud," Woessner said. "That's when you raise your game up to that level and beat the best of the best."
Johnson won $20,000 for finishing second at the PBA Banquet Open in Wyoming, Mich., last month. In March 2004, the PBA announced it would open its organization to women.
"That was very emotional for me," Woessner said. "That was huge. She beat the guys in the first year women were allowed to compete."
Kevin Taber, a Sylvanian who has been one of the top bowlers in the area for more than 25 years, said Woessner is one of the finest bowlers he has seen.
"In my opinion, she is by far one of the best bowlers around. She is easily in the top 10 in the area," he said. "She has been a great bowler for a long, long time."
Woessner also beat the top local men in 1994 when she won the GTBA Masters Tournament in the first year it was opened to women.
Woessner has rolled 11 300 games and 10 800 series. Her highest series was an 836 and her highest average was 228 in the 2003-04 season.
She won the OWBA Championship Tournament singles event in 1999 and captured team titles in 1994 and 1999. She also has won three City Mixed Doubles titles.
Locally, Woessner has carried the high average in the Toledo Ladies Traveling League 11 out of the last 12 years. She has broken the best average in the area's top league for women seven times.
Woessner also has excelled at the regional level, having won three PWBA titles.
"I'm proud of a lot of things," Woessner said. "But bowling against the best women in the world and beating them a few times was special."
Woessner's resume is overflowing with amazing accomplishments, yet she is one of the youngest to ever be inducted in the OWBA Hall of Fame.
"I was surprised because it was my first opportunity to even be considered for induction," Woessner said. "I'm sure there are so many more women out there that deserve to be inducted."
The criteria for eligibility to enter the hall include membership in the Women's International Bowing Congress for at least 15 years. To be recognized for Superior Performance, a candidate must have won at least one Ohio WBA title.
Contact Mark Monroe at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6110.