EASTERN NATIONALS
The Eastern National horseshoe pitching championships is in its 51st year being held in Erie, PA. This year the tournament was moved a few blocks to a brand new site on Glenwood Park. The courts are some of the nicest most of us have ever seen. The only unfortunate thing was the weather didn't want to cooperate and the 2nd shift on Saturday was cancelled. The top groups were scheduled to start at 5 pm, but we waited for a break in the weather and started our games at 7 pm. After about 10 minutes of competition the rain started to come down too hard and we covered the courts again. The rain didn't last very long and we continued our first game. The competition was scheduled to have the top 8 40' men advancing to the Men's championship classes while the top 8 30' players (elder men and women) advance to the 30' championship class. The players were set up in 8 player classes based on entering average. I was in the top Men's class along with the current Men's champion Alan Francis.

The competition was interrupted at the end of the 6th round when it started to rain again and there was lighting. We were scheduled to play 7 games. Even though I had finished my 6th game it wasn't going to count as there was one game which hadn't finished and the rules of horseshoes normally have the competition go to the last completed round of competition. I haven't been playing quite as well as I would like lately and wasn't overly optimistic about how I would play. And since we started in the wet conditions which usually result in slick walkways I less enthusiastic about my potential. However, after the slow start in my first game I started to throw some ringers and managed to keep my bad streaks to a minimum. I won my first 5 games and even the 6th game which didn't count. I was scheduled to play Alan Francis the last round and we were tied at 5 wins and no losses. I ended up averaging 79.1% for the first 5 games. For some reason at the end of the 5th game I started to have trouble with the approaches and was slipping a bit. This continued into the 6th game until I put some rags on the approach which gave me better traction.

			
Player				Wins Loss Ringers Shoes	R %
   1.ALAN FRANCIS                  OH     5    0    246  298  82.55 
   2.WALTER RAY WILLIAMS JR        FL     5    0    201  254  79.13 
   3.MANDELL PROCTOR               MD     4    1    206  272  75.74 
   4.BOB HAYES                     NY     2    3    223  306  72.88 
   5.TOM WESTBROOK                 SC     2    3    206  294  70.07 
   6.STAN LEIS                     ON     1    4    161  248  64.92 
   7.KURT VONKLIEST                PA     1    4    111  208  53.37 
   8.ROBERT JONES                  NY     0    5    168  264  63.64 


And my results:
			My	Opp	My	Opp
Game	Opponent		Score	Ringers	Shs	Ringer %
1. Bob Hayes-NY		40-13	35	27	46	76.1	58.7
2. Stan Leis-Ont		41-29	50	46	66	75.8	69.7
3. Kurt Von Kleist-PA	40-3	23	12	28	82.1	42.1
4. Robert Jones-NY		42-4	38	25	42	90.5	59.5
5. Tom Westbrook-SC	40-30	55	52	72	76.4	72.2
		Wins-5 Losses-0	201	162	254	79.1	63.8

In the game which didn't count, here is the results of our game.
6. Mandell Proctor-MD	41-30	49	45	64	76.6	70.3
In the Championship class, the 8 players were Alan Francis, myself, Mandell Proctor, Bob Hayes, Tom Westbrook, Stan Leis, Robert Jones, & Andre Leclerc. Andre moved up from the 'B' class while the other 7 moved up from the 'A' class. The weather report was not good and with our late start (we were scheduled to start at 1 pm, but started around 3 pm) they decided to pitch 30 point games. I started rather slow pitching under 70% my first 3 games. Considering my low game yesterday was over 75% I was rather disappointed. I lost my 3rd game to Stan Leis after sneaking by my first 2 games and I guess that motivated me as I pitched over 80% my last 4 games. In the last game I was pitching against Alan Francis. Alan is the current Men's world champion and he had the high average on Saturday. Alan hadn't lost a game I had the one loss, so if I beat Alan, we would be tied and would need a playoff game. Unfortunately Alan has been beating me regularly in the last few years so I was hoping to give him a good match. We started out pretty close, but I had a bad middle to give Alan a 24-16 lead. I managed to pitch a good finish having 22 out of my last 24 shoes, but Alan was able to sneak out the win 30-29. Even though I wasn't the true winner I felt much better about my pitching after this weekend. Hopefully I can do better in a few weeks in Greenville Oh and even better in August at the World tournament in Alberta Canada.

   1.ALAN FRANCIS                  OH     7    0    208  258  80.62 
   2.WALTER RAY WILLIAMS           FL     5    2    227  302  75.17 
   3.MANDELL PROCTOR               MD     4    3    209  296  70.61 
   4.TOM WESTBROOK                 SC     4    3    193  290  66.55 
   5.STAN LEIS                     ON     3    4    204  296  68.92 
   6.BOB HAYES                     NY     2    5    187  280  66.79 
   7.ROBERT JONES                  NY     2    5    184  302  60.93 
   8.ANDRE LECLERC                 PQ     1    6    162  260  62.31 


Here are Alan's and my games today.
 
   1.ALAN FRANCIS-OH                        2.WALTER RAY WILLIAMS-FL           
   OPPONENT        SCORE    R  SP    %     OPPONENT        SCORE    R  SP    %
 1.ANDRE LECLERC-  30/  4  20  22  90.9  1.ROBERT JONES-N  32/ 21  28  42  66.7
 2.STAN LEIS-ON    32/  4  34  38  89.5  2.TOM WESTBROOK-  32/ 13  27  40  67.5
 3.ROBERT JONES-N  30/ 18  19  28  67.9  3.STAN LEIS-ON    23/ 30  31  46  67.4
 4.TOM WESTBROOK-  30/ 10  25  34  73.5  4.ANDRE LECLERC-  30/ 15  31  38  81.6
 5.BOB HAYES-NY    30/ 14  32  42  76.2  5.MANDELL PROCTO  31/ 10  28  34  82.4
 6.MANDELL PROCTO  30/  8  27  32  84.4  6.BOB HAYES-NY    31/ 10  32  40  80.0
 7.WALTER RAY WIL  30/ 29  51  62  82.3  7.ALAN FRANCIS-O  29/ 30  50  62  80.6
 W-  7   L-  0    212    208  258  80.6  W-  5   L-  2    208    227  302  75.2

In the 30' championship class they had some great competition.  Here are some of their results:

   1.AMY FRANCIS                   OH     6    1    312  370  84.32 
   2.SUE SNYER                     KY     5    2    304  366  83.06 
   3.FRANK BOHUN                   PA     5    2    288  352  81.82 
   4.SYLVIANNE MOISAN              PQ     5    2    272  334  81.44 
   5.JOAN ELMORE                   TN     4    3    307  382  80.37 
   6.BECKY KEMPER                  KY     2    5    211  304  69.41 
   7.ED PACACHA                    PA     1    6    177  288  61.46 
   8.LUCILLE LEIS                  ON     0    7    162  268  60.45 


        GROUP CHM3 -                                                   
   1.AMY FRANCIS-OH                         2.SUE SNYER-KY                     
   OPPONENT        SCORE    R  SP    %     OPPONENT        SCORE    R  SP    %
 1.BECKY KEMPER-K  31/  3  25  30  83.3  1.LUCILLE LEIS-O  31/ 14  37  46  80.4
 2.LUCILLE LEIS-O  30/ 14  30  36  83.3  2.BECKY KEMPER-K  30/  7  25  30  83.3
 3.ED PACACHA-PA   32/ 12  27  38  71.1  3.SYLVIANNE MOIS  18/ 30  38  48  79.2
 4.SYLVIANNE MOIS  30/ 16  50  56  89.3  4.ED PACACHA-PA   33/  9  25  30  83.3
 5.JOAN ELMORE-TN  31/ 16  48  56  85.7  5.FRANK BOHUN-PA  18/ 30  43  54  79.6
 6.SUE SNYER-KY    26/ 30  73  88  83.0  6.AMY FRANCIS-OH  30/ 26  74  88  84.1
 7.FRANK BOHUN-PA  30/ 19  59  66  89.4  7.JOAN ELMORE-TN  30/ 18  62  70  88.6
 W-  6   L-  1    210    312  370  84.3  W-  5   L-  2    190    304  366  83.1

   3.FRANK BOHUN-PA                         4.SYLVIANNE MOISAN-PQ              
   OPPONENT        SCORE    R  SP    %     OPPONENT        SCORE    R  SP    %
 1.ED PACACHA-PA   31/ 12  29  40  72.5  1.JOAN ELMORE-TN  30/ 15  45  54  83.3
 2.SYLVIANNE MOIS  31/ 21  45  54  83.3  2.FRANK BOHUN-PA  21/ 31  42  54  77.8
 3.LUCILLE LEIS-O  31/  7  31  40  77.5  3.SUE SNYER-KY    30/ 18  42  48  87.5
 4.BECKY KEMPER-K  34/  8  34  40  85.0  4.AMY FRANCIS-OH  16/ 30  45  56  80.4
 5.SUE SNYER-KY    30/ 18  47  54  87.0  5.BECKY KEMPER-K  35/ 18  54  66  81.8
 6.JOAN ELMORE-TN   9/ 33  47  58  81.0  6.ED PACACHA-PA   34/  8  23  30  76.7
 7.AMY FRANCIS-OH  19/ 30  55  66  83.3  7.LUCILLE LEIS-O  32/  0  21  26  80.8
 W-  5   L-  2    185    288  352  81.8  W-  5   L-  2    198    272  334  81.4

   5.JOAN ELMORE-TN                         6.BECKY KEMPER-KY                  
   OPPONENT        SCORE    R  SP    %     OPPONENT        SCORE    R  SP    %
 1.SYLVIANNE MOIS  15/ 30  41  54  75.9  1.AMY FRANCIS-OH   3/ 31  16  30  53.3
 2.ED PACACHA-PA   30/ 12  34  44  77.3  2.SUE SNYER-KY     7/ 30  17  30  56.7
 3.BECKY KEMPER-K  32/ 27  45  58  77.6  3.JOAN ELMORE-TN  27/ 32  43  58  74.1
 4.LUCILLE LEIS-O  32/ 15  31  42  73.8  4.FRANK BOHUN-PA   8/ 34  25  40  62.5
 5.AMY FRANCIS-OH  16/ 31  43  56  76.8  5.SYLVIANNE MOIS  18/ 35  48  66  72.7
 6.FRANK BOHUN-PA  33/  9  55  58  94.8  6.LUCILLE LEIS-O  30/  0  20  26  76.9
 7.SUE SNYER-KY    18/ 30  58  70  82.9  7.ED PACACHA-PA   32/ 19  42  54  77.8
 W-  4   L-  3    176    307  382  80.4  W-  2   L-  5    125    211  304  69.4

Amy has been runner up at the World championships several times and she looks determined to be the champion. She also has the best practice partner in the world in her husband, Alan. Sue Snyder is a 4 time women's world champion while Frank Bohun at 87 years of age is a 4 time elder men's world champion. Sylvianne Moisan is the current women's world champion having won the last two years. She is married to Andre Leclerc who is starting to pitch a bit better. Joan Elmore is the TN ladies champion and like Amy is gunning for her first world title this year. Becky Kemper isn't quite showing the form that she had several years ago when she was the women's world champion, but some decent games at the end have her determined. Frank is an Erie resident and had 2 great games pitched against him, the 94.8% game of Joan Elmore and Amy's 89.4% in the deciding last game.

In the Junior division, local Tony White defeated current girl's world champion Shalee Sebastion on the last round of competition.

Walter Ray