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The husband-and-wife team of Jen and Travis Sparks recently captured the Pennsylvania United States Bowling Congress Mixed-Doubles Scratch Championship.

"We don't usually bowl well when we compete together," Travis said. "It seems like one of us will bowl well, but not the other."

That wasn't the case on this occasion, however, as Travis rolled a 769 three-game series and Jen contributed a 645 for a 1,414 total. The York couple edged Yvonne Jones and William Wolfe by three pins.

Greg Bruff and Samantha Schnur of York placed third with a 1,377 total, while Stephanie Whipple-Miller of York teamed with Brandon Runk to tally 1,350 pins and take fifth.

Jen and Travis had each won state titles, but not together.

"Being our first state title together makes it more special," Travis said. "We always look forward to this tournament. It's the tournament where we have the most fun."

Travis credits Jen for his performance. 

"Jen suggested I make a ball change, and I did," he said. "The ball I switched to didn't hook as much. It was absolutely the right move, but I wouldn't have made it on my own."

Despite their outstanding performance, Jen was worried their score wouldn't hold up. 

"There was another weekend of competition remaining," she explained. "I was nervous because I missed three 4-pins in our match. I didn't want that to come back and haunt us. I was very happy and relieved when we won by three pins."

Jen also earned third place in the women's all-events category, while Julie Carson of York took fifth.

The Sparks already have circled next year's state mixed-doubles tournament on their calendar.

"We're looking to win the title again," Jen said.

Reach Barry Sparks at sports@yorkdispatch.com. This story was provided through the York Area Bowling Proprietors Association.

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