Big Country Lanes owner Larry Richet practices at the bowling alley ahead of the Men’s Canadian Open Championships at the end of May. Richet is part of the first men’s BC North team to win the provincial championship. Tara Sprickerhoff photo.

100 Mile bowler heads to nationals

BC North team wins provincials for first time

Larry Richet moved to the South Cariboo in June of 2016. In the short time he’s been here, he’s already made his mark on bowling in British Columbia’s north.

Richet is part of a team of six bowlers who won the Men’s 5 Pin Provincial Open Championship in Prince George, April 14-16.

The tournament was the first time BC North has ever won the men’s provincial title.

Filled out with bowlers from Williams Lake and Prince George, Richet earned his spot on the team during zone tryouts in January, where bowlers bowl 16 games over two days.

Those with the highest points make the team.

On the first day of the championship, the team lost four of their five games.

“It wasn’t looking pretty,” says Richet, but the team rallied to win all five games on the second day, and went one-and-one on the last day.

The wins put the team in first position where they would face the winner of a stepladder playoff round.

As the first place team, BC North had the ability to lose one game before losing the title, but Richet says the team didn’t want to give the other team that chance.

“You give them the momentum if they win the first time,” he says. “We want to end this now, quick, and we did. We got up to an incredibly fast start. We never let up the whole game.”

The championship title means BC North will represent British Columbia at the men’s Canadian Open Championship in Sudbury, Ont. from May 31 to June 3.

Richet is a veteran bowler. In the past, he’s won two national masters championships with the Okanagan team, and has participated in the televised CBC and TSN Championships.

Richet was named as one of Canada’s top 100 bowlers as part of the Canadian 5 Pin Bowlers’ Association’s centennial celebration.

“It would be really nice to win a third national championship,” he says.

Lane conditions could make a difference for the bowlers — whether lanes are made of wood or plastic changes the way people bowl.

“All these variables make a huge difference, you just have to pretty much wait till you get there and see how you bowl. But it’s always fun. It’s always the ultimate, being at the top looking for a Canadian championship,” he says.

“The interesting thing about the open championship is you never really know how good the teams are until you get there… Anybody can win it so it’s always interesting. It’s a lot more challenging.”

In 2016, Richet and his wife retired to 100 Mile House where they bought and renovated the Big Country Lanes bowling alley.

Richet says he throws several games a day to prepare and stay “sharp.”