In the Pocket: California native DeCarlo tears it up in Capital Region

Denise DeCarlo has been one of the top female bowlers in the region for more than three decades. Provided

Denise DeCarlo has been one of the top female bowlers in the region for more than three decades. Provided

“California Girl” Denise DeCarlo remains a huge fan of successful sports teams like the World Series-champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the defending NBA titlist L.A. Lakers. It reminds her of her brief stay in always sunny Los Angeles, where she was born and remained for the first four years of her life.

But although the iconic 1965 Beach Boys song raved about the “amazing” West Coast girls, DeCarlo actually has put together quite an amazing resume of her own back here in New York, where she has spent the last 53 years.

DeCarlo was once one of the Capital Region’s finest female bowlers. She demonstrated that she can still roll the rock last week when she banged out a 289 game and a 761 triple in the very competitive Capital District All Star league at Sportsman’s Bowl.

Back in her prime, DeCarlo would bowl as often as four times a week, but now she only has the time to bowl in just the one league. When she was tearing up the lanes in her younger years, most men and women bowled separately, especially in scratch leagues. Now, there are almost no scratch leagues for women only.

“I have no problem bowling in a men’s league,” DeCarlo said. “I enjoy the competition. I used to bowl at The Bowlers Club in the premier women’s doubles league. People from Schenectady, Albany, Troy and even Saratoga bowled in that league. But there are no high-average leagues for the women anymore.”

DeCarlo is currently averaging 209 and admits that she got off to a slow start this season. Her recent outburst reminded her of the old days.

“I had been working a lot, and this season started slowly. I couldn’t practice over the summer because of the pandemic,” said DeCarlo, who recently moved from Albany to Malta. “But now I’m warmed up and back in the groove. I love to bowl and always have.”

After moving back here from California, DeCarlo grew up in Schenectady. She almost immediately fell in love with bowling.

“I had interest in bowling when I was just a kid,” she recalled. “When I was little back in California, I said to my grandfather that I wanted to ‘throw them balls.’ When we came back here, I remember me, my two cousins, my mother and uncle would all go over to Towne Bowling Academy to bowl and then stop at Lums after.

“When I was 10, my two neighbor friends joined a junior league at The Bowlers Club. They got a free game if they got someone to join the league with them, so they asked me to join. Jack Wilfore ran the program back then. Since then, I’ve taken lessons from Kenny Hall and Harry Polomaine. I also got help from [deceased former local coach and women’s pro bowler] Barb Leicht and more recently from Brian LeClair. Brian is very good at giving lessons. I would have a ball drilled up from him, and he couldn’t help himself giving me some hints.”

DeCarlo bowled for the Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons bowling team in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades. She was the first female bowler to bowl on the boys’ team. Back then, the Golden Knights didn’t have a girls’ team. Unfortunately, DeCarlo couldn’t qualify for the state tournament because the rules wouldn’t allow it.

DeCarlo went on to study public communications at The College of Saint Rose, and she continued to shine on the lanes despite a busy media/public relations career that has included 15 years in the radio and television department for the New York State Assembly, a stint as the news director at WQBK, a weekend job at WGY and even some TV work both in Kingston, and as a producer for Channel 13. She is currently the deputy director of communications for the NYS Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

At one point during her bowling career, DeCarlo competed in a scratch league at Del Lanes on Monday night and several other leagues at Boulevard Bowl, including the Turbine Supervisors league and the Sunday morning NFL league.

“I was always very serious about bowling,” DeCarlo said. “Not only did I bowl four times a week in leagues, but I also practiced a lot and also bowled in tournaments.”

DeCarlo didn’t just compete. She was one of the best. A member of both the Albany Bowling Association and the NYS Bowling Association Hall of Fame, DeCarlo once averaged 221 at Del Lanes when that figure was phenomenal for females. Her career-high triple is 806 at Del Lanes, and she also hit the 800 mark at Town & Country Lanes. One of her eight career perfect games was rolled in the NYS Tournament in Buffalo, where she finished second in the all-events division to pro bowler Liz Johnson.

DeCarlo won two NYS Doubles titles with partner Marie Mazone and two more NYS Team titles. She is a multiple medalist in the Empire State Games, participating for the Adirondack Region team four times. She made the first cut — just missing the second — and cashed in the national Queens Tournament when it was held in Syracuse.

DeCarlo also won nine Albany Women’s City Tournament crowns and was on the Albany Women’s Bowling Association all-star team for 20 consecutive years.

She recently added a Brunswick Hero ball to her exclusive Storm and Roto Grip equipment stock, and she said she loves to use the new ball when the lanes have a little more oil on them.

The winner of numerous local tournaments, including the Women’s 600 Club and Albany Bowling Association Trio Tournament, DeCarlo also made the semifinals and the top 10 in the NYS Queens Tournament.

“When I first started in bowling, it was a game of accuracy, especially with the long and heavier oil,” DeCarlo noted. “Now it’s a game of speed. I don’t roll the ball as fast as I used to.”

She is an avid golfer who received a set of clubs from her grandmother when she was just 9 years old.

“They didn’t have junior golf leagues back then. I played golf, but it was a lot easier going to a bowling center than trying to get a tee time,” she said. “I just like to compete. Always have.”

STRIKES & SPARES

The Professional Women’s Bowling Association kicks off its season Tuesday at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington, Texas.

Speaking of the PWBA, Loa Boxberger, both a PWBA and USBC Hall of Fame member, died last month at age 81. She won six professional titles, including the 1978 USBC Queens.

Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy hosts the next Amateur League Bowling Association of New York singles tournament Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Only bowlers with averages less than 215 are eligible. Entry fee is $50. Handicap is 100% of 215, with a maximum of 75 pins per game. Call Jim Burton at 518-209-4748 for a reservation. Meanwhile, the A.L.B.A.N.Y. announced that it will host the Valentine’s Day No-Tap Singles on Feb. 14.

The team of Tony Cacckello, John Sickles and Mark James rolled a 2,344 to win the Uncle Sam Lanes Christmas Tournament. They split $1,200. The trio of Larry Alix, Phil Williams and Anthony Alix (2,239, $700) finished second, followed by Ron Paradiso, Bryan Duurloo and Rick Wark (2,207, $600).

Zachary Lewis Bogholtz shot 1,076 for five games to win the Empire Youth Open at Sportsman’s Bowl. The next Empire Youth Open will be Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. back at Sportsman’s Bowl.

Patel’s Kingston Lanes is the site for the next Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour Winter Gold event. There are two squads: Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. Bowlers will compete in two three-game sets.

Towne Bowling Academy’s Team Handicap Tournament has five more squads remaining — this Saturday 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Sunday at 2 p.m., and Jan. 23 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Entry fee is $160 per team. Handicap is 90% of 225, with a maximum of 50 pins per game. Top prize is $4,000. There is also an optional singles tournament for $15 using the same scores. Call 518-355-3939 for more information or to make reservations.

The New York State USBC will hold a couple of its major tournaments in the Capital Region. The NYS Open Championship for teams, doubles and singles will be held at Boulevard Bowl beginning April 23, while the NYS Masters Championship is set for East Greenbush Bowling Center beginning March 6.

Town & Country Lanes will host the Lab Bakers Doubles Tournament Jan. 24 (10 a.m. and 1 p.m.), Jan. 30 (3 p.m.), Jan. 31 (10 a.m. and 1 p.m.), Feb. 6 (3 p.m.) and Feb. 7 (10 a.m. and 1 p.m.). Entry fee is $25 per bowler. Handicap will be 90% of 220. One in eight teams will cash. Top prize is $800 for the top team, based on 70 teams.

Congratulations to Ricky Anthony, who rolled an 803 triple with games of 279, 278 and 246 in the Galaxy league at Boulevard Bowl.

The Danzy for King Trio Tournament will be held Feb. 27-28 at Town & Country Lanes. TNBA membership is required. There are two squads each day (noon and 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Feb. 28). First place will be $1,500, based on 80 entries. Entry fee per team is $105 plus an optional singles event for $10. Handicap is 90% of 230.

Robert Danzy, president of the regional TNBA rolled his 41st career 300 game Tuesday night at Del Lanes.

Sammy V’s 10th Frame Senior Tour will be hosting a Singles Eliminator Feb. 6 at Towne Bowling Academy. Entry fee is $70, and first place will be $1,000, based on 40 entries. There will be four divisions: age 49 and under, as well as the normal senior age groups, 50-59 60-69 and 70-plus. Call 315-256-7100 for reservations or more information.

The 17th annual Schenectady-Scotia Women’s 500 Club Snowball Bowl Scotch Doubles tournament will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. at Sportsman’s Bowl. The tournament is open to all members of the 500 Club. Anyone who has bowled a 500 triple can enter by joining the club. Entry fee is $17 per person plus a $5 entry fee for new members. Applications are available at all three Schenectady USBC bowling centers: Boulevard Bowl, Sportsman’s Bowl and Towne Bowling Academy. For more information contact Ursula Pasquerella (518-357-0914).

Kingpin’s Alley Family Fun Center in South Glens Falls is hosting a Scratch Doubles Tournament Feb. 21 at 10 a.m. First place will be $2,000, based on 50 entries. There will be five games of qualifying across 10 lanes, with one team in five advancing to the one-game bracket finals. Entry fee is $180 per team. The event is limited to the first 63 teams. Call Tom Earl (518-763-2734) for reservations.

MAJOR BOWLING

Mark Kuhlkin produced a 279-769, Debbie Capullo fired a 267-751, Natasha Bidwell shot a 748 and Billy Wigand connected for a 742 in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial City League Monday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

Chris Smith ripped a 278-768, and Bill Carl fired a 253-746 to lead the Sportsman’s Majors Monday night at Sportsman’s Bowl.

B.J. Smith slammed a 268-1,004 four-game series, Mike Scaccia tossed a 268-990 and Ryan Karabin delivered a 258-979 in the Frank DePalma Boulevard Classic Tuesday night at Boulevard Bowl.

Liz Kuhlkin tossed a 279 game during a 1,039 four-game series to edge Debbie Capullo’s 290-1,035, Joe VanDerLinden shot a 278-1,017 and Tom Earl fired a 986 in the Reis Group Kim Brown Memorial Mixed Doubles league Wednesday night at Towne Bowling Academy.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL CITY LEAGUE

Standings

Vito Sindoni & Son 3-0, Rollarama 3-0, DeCrescente Distributing 2-1, Towne Bowling Academy, TSS Printing & Awards 2-1, 20 North 2-1, Action Bowling Supply 2-1, J&F Lawn Care 1-2, Downs Roofing 1-2, Syron’s Meat Market 1-2, Team 4 1-2, KKV Recovery 1-2, D&D Lawncare 0-3, Home Tech Electric 0-3.

———

Match summaries

Rollarama (3)

Keith Lawyer 226-152-224 — 602, Dan Rotter 215-198-233 — 646, John Askew 257-228-234 — 719, Ron Paradiso 258-267-203 — 728. Totals: 956-845-894 — 2,695.

Home Tech Electric (0)

Chuck Schissler 214-185-174 — 573, Ronnie Zadrozny 220-194-196 — 610, Gabe Criscuolo 189-187-181 — 557, Jenn Schissler 244-278-201 — 723. Totals: 867-844-752 — 2,463.

———

D&D Lawncare (0)

Laura Rotter 212-202-213 — 627, Tom Rogers 185-245-171 — 601, Bill Nolan 170-1709-173 — 513, Chad Propper 267-197-245 — 709. Totals: 834-814-802 — 2,450.

Vito Sindoni & Son (3)

Scott Chastenay 268-217-210 — 695, Mike DiCerbo 154-214-180 — 548, Rich Strath 236-210-238 — 684, Joe VanDerLinden 217-186-227 — 630. Totals: 875-827-855 — 2,557.

———

Action Bowling Supply (2)

Rit Fazzone 216-190-169 — 575, Bob Messick 275-246-200 — 721, Natasha Bidwell 247-257-244 — 748, Matt Fazzone 256-237-176 — 669. Totals: 994-930-789 — 2,713.

Downs Roofing (1)

Ryan Karabin 279-199-234 — 712, Billy Wigand 257-249-236 — 742, P.J. Derenzo 186-206-201 — 593, Jeremy Clute 233-260-233 — 726. Totals: 955-914-904 — 2,773.

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20 North (2)

Tommy Donato 210-169-176 — 555, Kenny Livengood 247-205-223 — 675, Joel Donato 247-195-266 — 708, Matt Kallner 258-205-190 — 653. Totals: 962-774-855 — 2,591.

KKV Recovery (1)

Nick DiCerbo 205-201-268 — 674, Jackie Malone 213-245-171 — 629, Bob Evans 213-205-235 — 653, Vinny Struffolino 226-195-171 — 592. Totals: 857-846-846 — 2,548.

———

TSS Printing & Awards (2)

Dwayne Coonradt 208-237-246 — 691, Paul Dumas 213-204-289 — 706, Speckhardt 233-234-221 — 688, Steve Wagoner 227-225-257 — 709. Totals: 881-900-1,013 — 2,794.

J&F Lawn Care (1)

Jason Brown 215-257-224 — 696, R.J. Martinez 185-215-248 — 648, Nick Stricos 232-196-249 — 677, Craig Taylor 266-223-198 — 687. Totals: 898-891-919 — 2,708.

———

Team 4 (1)

Cassius Boyd 223-256-170 — 649, John Mauceri 181-222-218 — 621, Charlie Provost 232-235-215 — 682, Marc Fowler 245-246-228 — 719. Totals: 881-959-831 — 2,671.

DeCrescente Distributing (2)

Jessica Aiezza 227-259-206 — 692, Mark Kuhlkin 279-235-255 — 769, Scott Rogers 229-213-236 — 678, Liz Kuhlkin 246-227-237 — 710. Totals: 981-934-934 — 2,849.

———

Syron’s Meat Market (1)

Ken Wilkins 225-253-199 — 677, Brandon Wolf 235-221-228 — 684, Don Herrington 279-168-157 — 604 Lindsey McPhail 235-202-175 — 612. Totals: 974-844-759 — 2,577.

Towne Bowling Academy (2)

Tom Earl 216-218-194 — 628, Tom DiBell 278-178-267 — 723 Marty Capullo Jr. 259-203-212 — 674, Debbie Capullo 267-228-256 — 751. Totals: 1,020-827-929 — 2,776.

SPORTSMAN’S MAJORS

Standings

Next Level Detailing 46-18, Universal Auto Parts 43-21, Muny Grille 41-23, Rollin’ Smoke BBQ 39-25, Metroland Photo 38-26, Bob’s Pro Shop 36-28, Mike’s Hot Dogs 34-30, The Appliance Specialist 30-34, Café One-Eleven 28-36, IDID 21-43, Klonowski’s Pro Shop 21-43, Girgenti’s Café & more 7-57.

———

Match summaries

Rollin’ Smoke BBQ (3)

John Leone 268-180-226 — 674, Bill Carl 246-253-246 — 745, Kalynn Carl 199-191-170 — 560, Justin Carl 225-233-258 — 716. Totals: 938-857-900 — 2,695.

Bob’s Pro Shop (1)

B.J. Rucinski Jr. 234-203-213 — 650, Earl Lawrence Jr. 156-221-269 — 646, Bob Tedesco Jr. 215-223-166 — 604, Mike Smith 196-257-227 — 680. Totals: 801-904-875 — 2,580.

———

Mike’s Hot Dogs (2)

Doug Semerad 232-182-197 — 611, Tammy Sader 264-163-211 — 638, Rich Rogaski 193-194-195 — 582, Kevin Palmer 216-248-190 — 654. Totals: 905-787-793 — 2,485.

The Appliance Specialist (2)

Melissa Bogholtz 195-171-190 — 556, Steve Fawcett 208-216-204 — 628, Zach Gravell 236-278-160 — 674, Chris Fawcett 256-231-184 — 671, Totals: 895-896-738 — 2,529.

———

Café One-Eleven (4)

Joe DiBiase 169-247-241 — 657, Joe Venduro IV 197-228-236 — 661, Cory Buckley 201-239-196 — 636, Tyler Mochrie Jr. (absent) 219-219-219 — 657. Totals: 786-933-892 — 2,611.

Klonowski’s Pro Shop (0)

Ted Klonowski III (absent) 212-212-216 — 636, Bob Mock 184-212-207 — 603, Ted Klonowski Jr. 193-197-155 — 545, Jim Petronis 196-214-202 — 612. Totals: 785-835-776 — 2,396.

———

IDID (3)

Tony Fernandez 235-236-215 — 686, Joe Gordon 225-161-194 — 580, A.J. Perone 231-149-178 — 558, Jim Valentino 246-204-187 — 637. Totals: 937-750-774 — 2,461.

Girgeniti’s Café & More (1)

Ernest J. Laduke Jr. 146-185-142 — 473, Jason Deitz 170-194-203 — 567, Mike Liberatore 200-184-215 — 599, Gary Neumann 209-161-228 — 598. Totals: 725-724-788 — 2,237.

———

Next Level Detailing (3)

Mike Guidarelli 248-269-211 — 728, Tom Siatkowski 243-223-243 — 709, Jason Impellizzeri 181-247-244 — 672, Matt Swiatocha 279-254-182 — 715. Totals: 951-993-880 — 2,824.

Muny Grille (1)

Jay Diamond 239-204-247 — 690, Dave Bingham (absent) 219-219-219 — 657, John Musto Jr. 269-234-223 — 726, Jamie Diamond 191-211-247 — 649. Totals: 918-868-936 — 2,722.

———

Universal Auto Parts (3)

Andy Smith 185-233-256 — 674, Bill Heaphy III 242-256-226 — 724, Chris Smith 278-259-231 — 768, Chris Fedden 211-245-202 — 658. Totals: 916-993-915 — 2,824.

Metroland Photo (1)

Lee Quivey 209-201-234 — 644, Steve Renzi 194-223-213 — 630, Mike Gallitelli 237-214-279 — 730, B.J. Smith Jr. 213-267-227 — 707. Totals: 853-905-953 — 2,711.

FRANK DEPALMA BOULEVARD CLASSIC

Standings

Derenzo’s Tax Service 28-12, Masons Automotive 26.5-13.5, Downs Roofing 23-17, Kalpro 17-23, Boulevard Bowl 16-24, D.A. Parisi & Co. 9.5-30.5.

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Match summaries

Derenzo’s Tax Service (2)

P.J. Derenzo 247-216-223-246 — 932, Mark Derenzo 215-205-201-245 — 866, Bob Tuttle 174-208-203-213 — 798. Totals: 636-629-627-704 — 2,596.

Boulevard Bowl (3)

Mike Scaccia 230-236-268-256 — 990, Brian Hart 197-278-225-191 — 891, Cory Bennett 203-236-203-198 — 840. Totals: 630-750-696-645 — 2,721.

———

D.A. Parisi & Co (0)

John Mecca 232-221-226-189 — 868, Jeff Williams 226-244-202-191 — 863, Ken Wilkins 196-156-194-157 — 703. Totals: 654-621-622-537 — 2,434.

Masons Automotive (5)

Mark Hansen 218-220-258-184 — 880, Don Cross 221-193-202-188 — 804, B.J. Smith Jr. 248-258-230-268 — 1,004 Totals: 687-671-690-640 — 2,688.

———

Downs Roofing (4)

Zach Strahan 216-196-202-182 — 796, Ryan Karabin 258-258-208-255 — 979, Tony Bianchi 279-197-202-200 — 878. Totals: 753-651-612-637 — 2,653.

Kalpro (1)

Keith Lawyer 221-172-179-205 — 777, Kyle Wilkins 199-236-178-192 — 805, Joe Carusone 169-224-210-241 — 844. Totals: 589-632-567-638 — 2,426.

REIS GROUP KIM BROWN MEMORIAL MIXED DOUBLES

Standings

Towne Bowling Academy 35-5, Team 11 31-9, Sindoni Sausage 29-11, Boulevard Bowl 24-16, Rogers MotorsSports 24-16, Loyal Nutrition 24-16, Next Level Detailing 22-18, Pete’s Auto 21-19, Team 8 21-19, TSS Printing & Awards 20-20, Sportsman’s Bowl 20-20, CDMVS 19-21, Team 12 19-21 EARRRRL’S 18-22, J&U 17-23, A-Plus Heating & Cooling 15.5-24.5, Team 9 13-27, 15 Church 10-30, Revolutions Pro Shop 9-31, Never Enough Performance 8.5-31.5.

———

Match summaries

Team 9 (6)

Kaitlyn Barnes 234-247-147-224 — 852, Nick Barnes 168-188-177-189 — 722. Totals: 430-463-352-441 — 1,686.

CDMVS (14)

Chris Allen-Valenzuela 227-226-226-233 — 912, John Askew 279-187-221-191 — 878. Totals: 527-434-468-445 — 1,874.

———

Never Enough Performance (4.5)

Kate Clark 200-204-190-220 — 814, Jamie Duncan 212-185-187-185 88 — 769. Totals: 451-428-416-444 — 1,739.

A-Plus Heating (15.5)

Michelle Largeteau 153-145-157-127 — 582, Tony Pasquerella 206-194-219-161 — 780. Totals: 473-453-490-402 — 1,818.

———

J&U (7)

Ursula Pasquerella 197-159-182-204 — 742, Joe Venduro 235-201-245-218 — 899. Totals: 474-402-469-464 — 1,809.

Loyal Nutrition (13)

Amber Dominic 237-196-201-203 — 837, Vinny Struffolino 237-216-187-212 — 852. Totals: 518-456-432-459 — 1,865.

———

Team 8 (2)

Elizabeth Criscuolo 149-126-131-165 — 571, Gabe Criscuolo 190-171-194-222 — 777. Totals: 415-373-401-463 — 1,652.

Team 11 (18)

Kris Impellizzeri 214-182-208-242 — 846, Scott Rogers 186-215-211-268 — 880. Totals: 419-416-438-529 — 1,802.

———

Rogers MotorSports (9)

Kelly Chrzanowski 198-196-203-242 — 839, Tom Rogers 190-214-181-215 — 800. Totals: 421-443-417-490 — 1,771.

Sportsman’s Bowl (11)

Erika Poje 177-205-205-185 — 772, Joe Wolf (absent) 197-197-197-197 — 788. Totals: 425-453-453-433 — 1,764.

———

Revolutions Pro Shop (8)

Lindsey McPhail 159-211-218-215 — 803, Don Herrington 268-225-215-203 — 911. Totals: 440-449-446-431 — 1,766.

Next Level Detailing (12)

Kim Swiatocha 254-209-196-237 — 876, Matt Swiatocha 224-247-226-174 — 871. Totals: 496-474-440-429 — 1,839.

———

Team 12 (12)

Janelle Irwin 189-223-247-212 — 871, Steve Irwin 158-173-256-212 — 799. Totals: 390-439-546-467 — 1,842.

Boulevard Bowl (8)

Lisa Rathbun-Read 199-213-203-202 — 817, Cliff Ruth 254-223-183-207 — 867. Totals: 482-465-415-438 — 1,800.

———

15 Church (3)

Aliyah Liberatore 128-171-200-205 — 704, Ben Empie 158-175-207-174 — 714. Totals: 351-411-472-444 — 1,678.

Pete’s Auto (17)

Jenn Schissler 247-237-232-150 — 856, Chuckie Schissler 221-278-248-203 — 950. Totals: 507-564-529-402 — 2,002.

———

EARRRRL’S (5)

Renee Earl 216-215-150-169 — 750, Tom Earl 225-277-227-257 — 986. Totals: 475-526-411-460 — 1,872.

Towne Bowling Academy (15)

Debbie Capullo 279-290-246-220 — 1,035, Marty Capullo Jr. 191-224-202-226 — 843. Totals: 486-530-464-462 — 1,942.

———

TSS Printing & Awards (4)

Jackie Malone 266-234-224-199 — 923, Paul Dumas 202-185-194-234 — 815. Totals: 505-456-455-470 — 1,886.

Sindoni Sausage (16)

Liz Kuhlkin 267-279-244-249 — 1,039, Joe VanDerLinden 224-257-278-258 — 1,017. Totals: 493-538-524-509 — 2,064.

Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected].

Categories: Sports

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