WARREN - Girard's Adam Barta has bowled 154 300-games and 122 800-series in his life. He has won nearly 40 singles tournaments, not to mention countless team, trio and doubles tournaments.
Prior to this past weekend, Barta's latest addition to his bowling resume was a runner-up finish in the $7,000 Holiday Doubles event in St. Louis, Mo. - a tournament in which he was partners with Liz Johnson, who has won 12 PBWA titles.
But Sunday's win in the 34th Warren Men's Challenge at Freeway Lanes was more than just another tournament victory. For Barta, this win was special.
Tribune Chronicle / Dana Sulonen
Tournament director Ted Snyder, left, presents Adam Barta with the 2012 Warren Men’s Challenge trophy on Sunday at Freeway Lanes.
"My dad passed away on Christmas Eve, this one was for him," Barta said.
The win also was special as it was the third time Barta has won the tournament. He was the defending champion and also won in 2009.
"It is different each time," Barta said. "This is such a big tournament for the Warren area. You take a lot of pride if you ever did win it. You are bowling against the best of the best in the area and Youngstown. To win it three times, or back-to-back, it's just awesome."
Barta was the highest qualifyer entering Sunday's finals, and was the top seed after the first 11 games of the day. Going into the 12th and final game, he held an 85-pin lead over Randy Horner.
However, the game was put away early as Barta hit strikes in his first four frames of the final to seal the deal on the victory with a 253 game. He averaged 267 over the 12-game finals for a final pin count of 3,121.
Coming in second was Horner with 2,977, who just edged out Tom Gmutza with 2,963. Rounding out the top five were Dan Francosky (2,820) and Robert Harvischak (2,804).
"Today I was able to have an 86-pin lead going into the final game, which makes your arm swing a little looser," Barta said. "But Randy is a great bowler so you never want to let your guard down and keep throwing strikes."
With Barta's victory, he has now separated himself into an elite class of bowlers from the Warren area. He's only the fourth bowler to win at least three titles and is only the third bowler to win back-to-back titles. Names on that list include three-time winner Lynn DeCamp, and four-time winners Jim Wolcott and Jim Valentine.
"It's awesome (to be ranked with those guys)," Barta said. "You never think of previous wins, or winning back-to-back. You try your best at every tournament. I approach every tournament that you never want to bowl for second. You always want to bowl for first, you always try your best."
If Barta keeps that up, he will be one of the best ever in the city of Warren.