By Justin Hauser
ADDISON, Ill. - There's a lot to take in when making a first appearance at an event like the United States Bowling Congress Women's Championships.
From the travel to the host city, getting familiar with a new venue and making sure everything is set to go prior to the first ball being rolled, focusing on the tournament's leaderboard is not necessarily a priority.
Trysta Hopkins-Followell of Cheyenne, Wyoming, was not thinking about it either as she wrapped up her debut at the USBC Women's Championships on Sunday, but she'll be keeping an eye on the standings moving forward after taking the lead in Sapphire Singles and Sapphire All-Events at Stardust Bowl.
Hopkins-Followell rolled games of 191, 179 and 219 for a 589 series to take the singles lead, and she added sets of 558 in doubles and 508 in team to finish her first appearance with a 1,655 all-events total.
Judy Kontor of Fremont, Nebraska, previously led Sapphire Singles with 566, and Marcia Busque of Burton, Michigan, had held the top spot in Sapphire All-Events with 1,531.
Hopkins-Followell's support system on-site at Stardust Bowl knew she was approaching the top numbers in the Sapphire Division, but they did not mention it to her in hopes of calming her nerves in the moment.
"I didn't have a clue at all when it came to what number I needed," Hopkins-Followell said. "I just knew that I was bowling well."
The news of her spot in the standings brought some emotions from the excitement of taking the lead in her tournament debut. She's looking forward to making the Women's Championships an annual trip on her schedule, to go along with appearances at local and state tournaments in Wyoming.
"I've fallen in love with the Women's Championships," Hopkins-Followell said. "I will be a lifelong participant moving forward after such an enjoyable first time."
Sapphire Singles and Sapphire All-Events features bowlers with entering averages of 138-148.
The 2022 Women's Championships kicked off April 24 and will conclude July 3.
Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Women's Championships page.