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BECK, Stephanie. (Dubuque, IA-- ). Stephanie began bowling at the age of nine in organized leagues. Her father, Jim Vogt, was a lane maintenance man at RIVERSIDE BOWL in the late 1960s. He took Stephanie and her two brothers, Greg and Dan, along with him to the lanes on Sunday mornings to clean the lanes. When their jobs were done, the kids would bowl for free as payment. By 1972, her parents, Jan and Jim, were managing Riverside Bowl along with Jerry and Carol Pregler.
Stephanie started doing odd jobs around the lanes from filling the vending machines, cleaning the lanes, working the front counter and helping in the kitchen. She learned to "Pin Chase" or fix problems with the machines in the back, helped in the reception hall, and when she was old enough she tender the bar. The benefits of being a family member and an employee earned her all the free practice she wanted.
In her early years as a junior bowler--she threw a back-up ball. But the years of practice made her accurate and by the age of fourteen she shot her first 600 series as a junior bowler--the youngest in Dubuque to do so. Stephanie then went to a "professional" bowling camp--operated by professional bowlers in Canton, Ohio. She changed from a backup bowler to a full roller and started to hook the ball. In 1977 she was awarded the Iowa State Jr. Bowling Association's Harry Tuma Award for excellence in bowling, her seven years of work on the Junior Board as a Junior Representative, and her work a Junior League coach. The award is given to one boy and one girl annually.
By the fall of 1978 Stephanie bowled in adult leagues and made her first trek to state and national tournaments. By 1981 after fairing poorly in nationals two years in a row, she decided to make some changes and attended her second professional bowling camp. At this camp she learned to change her roll on the ball from a full roller to a semi-roller which gave her more hook. She also worked extensively on her bowling form and spare game. Some were skeptical and feared that the change would ruin the 185+ average bowler, but she proved them wrong.
In 1986 Stephanie became the second woman in Dubuque to roll a 300 game, a year later she rolled her second perfect game. Since then she rolled a 300 game four more times in 1993, 2004, 2004, 2005, and two in March of 2006, giving her seven perfect games. In 1991 she became the first woman in Dubuque to roll an 800 series--823--which broke a twenty-year Iowa state record for the highest series bowled by a woman. This record stood for fifteen years until 2005. She bowled two more 800 series--in 2005 and 2006. On November 14, 2008 Stephanie fired games of 278, 279, and 278 for an 835 series. With that score, she rolled only the fifth 800 series in Dubuqueland Women's Bowling Association--and she owned four of them. Her younger sister, Cindy COTTRELL, had the other.
Stephanie's bowling average over the years since that second visit to bowling camp were well over 200. She first reached a 200 average in the 1985-86 season and achieved a career high of 226 in the 2006-2007 season. She maintained the highest average each year in the city for the past 20+ years through 2008 finishing second one time in those years.
Stephanie had a lot of success on the state and national levels. She finished in the top ten in the singles division at nationals while also finishing twice in the top ten in team competition. Her quest to bowl on TEAM USA fell short, making the cut many years before finally finishing 8th in the 1993 National USA trials where the top six bowlers made the national team.
Although she did not make the national team, it did qualify her for the US Olympic festival in 1994 in St. Louis, Missouri where she won numerous medals. She made the top 24 in the US Open Tournament, a national tournament that showcased the best amateurs and pro bowlers in the country. She has also placed well in the USBC Queen's tournament, qualifying each year she bowled in the tournament. She bowled against nationally ranked women from across the country (both amateurs and professionals), with fields of 250-400 women competing to fill 64 spots. She also finished as high as 7th-8th in the 2004 WIBC Queen's Tournament, women's bowling most prestigious tournament.
Beginning in 1978, Stephanie achieved nineteen state tournament titles to her name:
>2 team titles in 1986 and 1988 >1 Hi Game title in 2006---a 300 game >3 Hi Series titles in 1988, 1997 and 2006 >2 Singles titles in 2002 and 2003 >5 Doubles titles--1988w/Donna Kieler (1371 a state record until 2001, 1997 w/Ann Knier, 2002 and 2003 w/Deb Henry, and most recently 2008 with her sister, Cindy Cottrell >7 All Events titles 1992, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2008
Stephanie gave back to the game she loved by coaching young junior bowlers on Saturday mornings since she was fourteen years old. She was a member of the Dubuque Women's Bowling Association Board of Directors for ten years and the state 600 Club president for several years in the late 1990s. She also served as secretary for many bowling leagues, helped chair committees and run bowling tournaments.
Stephanie came from a bowling family. Her father, Jim Vogt, was inducted into the DUBUQUE BOWLING ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME in 1984 for superior performance. Her mother, Jan, was inducted into the DUBUQUELAND WOMEN'S BOWLING ASSOCIATION HALL OF FAME in 1987 for superior performance and service to the game. Jan was also the local 600 Club secretary for twenty years and ran the Junior Bowling program at Riverside for over twenty years. Stephanie followed her mother into the DWBA Hall of Fame in 1990 and then in 1993 was inducted into the Iowa Women's State Bowling Hall of Fame. Her sister, Cindy Cottrell, was inducted into the Women's Hall of Fame in 2007 and has been elected to the State Hall of Fame with the induction scheduled for April 2009. Her two brothers, Dan and Greg, and her sister Molly also have many bowling achievements of their own.
Stephanie married Steve Beck, a member of the Maquoketa Bowling Association Hall of Fame. Steve listed many 300 games, 800 series and tournament titles on his bowling resume. Steve and Stephanie had six children and three grandchildren. Daughter Stephanie Frey was the Eastern Iowa Women's High School Bowler of the year in 2007 helping her team to the state tournament her last two years in high school. Their son, Kyle Wiest, bowled a 300 game at the age of fourteen in 2008 and has several 700 series. The youngest member of the family, Cody, bowled his first 200 game in 2007 in junior league at the age of eight.