Family that rolls together, wins together
By Tory N. Parrish
Published: Saturday, June 2, 2012, 11:40 p.m.
Updated: Sunday, June 3, 2012
Winning was a family affair at Saturday's Allegheny County Marbles Tournament.
The first-place boys winner, Jordan Narr, 14, is the cousin of the first- and second-place girls winners, Shaler resident Emily Cavacini, 9, and Lawrenceville resident Brooke Narr, 13, respectively. Brooke's sister Bailey, 12, won the national girls title last year in Wildwood, N.J.
"It's (more fun) when you have your family there because you get to share it with them," said Jordan of Lawrenceville.Ben Eddings, 13, of the South Side was the boys second-place winner.
The top eight boys and top eight girls received trophies yesterday, but only the four first- and second-place winners will compete at the 89th annual National Marbles Championship, which will take place June 17-22 in Wildwood. Ben, Brooke, Emily and Jordan were semifinalists at the national level last year.
The county contest brought out marble-shooters between the ages of 7 and 14 who had won or performed well at enough at local competitions and other events at malls, schools and parks to compete last week in the Allegheny County Courthouse courtyard, Downtown. During three days, a field of 65 competitors was whittled down to the top eight boys and top eight girls, and four first- and second-place winners -- two boys and two girls -- were selected from the 16 semifinalists.
The county competition typically attracts more participants, as many as 200, but the forecast of heavy rain for Thursday and Friday put a damper on some of the turnout, county tournament coordinator Maureen Ricci said.
"It was a good year, considering how the weather was. ... We still had a good turnout," she said.
At the national competition later this month, the top boy and girl will earn $2,000 scholarships and will be inducted into the National Marbles Hall of Fame.
Marble-shooters in the courtyard yesterday were not motivated by accolades or awards, but by the enjoyment and challenge of the game, they said.
"It's different. You need a different type of skill set," Ben said.
Mt. Washington resident Stephanie Son, 31, watched her son Diego Romero, 11, compete among the top eight boys at the county level yesterday.
It was a source of pride and nostalgia for Son, a national girls champion in 1995.
"It's a community. Everybody kind of gets along. We're very supportive of each other," she said.
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