WICKLIFFE, Ohio – The 2017 USA Bowling National Championships presented by Sixlets once again brought together the top youth teams from throughout the country to compete for national championships in two divisions – 12-and-under and 15-and-under.
The event started with 32 teams – 16 in the U12 division and 16 in the U15 division – which bowled five and six one-game Baker matches, respectively, at Yorktown Lanes in Parma Heights, Ohio, on Wednesday, with their win-loss records determining the seeding for their double-elimination match-play brackets.
Match play took place Thursday at nearby Freeway Lanes of Parma and featured best-of-three Baker matches to see who advanced.
The event’s finals were taped Saturday at Game of Wickliffe for delayed broadcast on CBS Sports Network. The U12 show will air Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. Eastern, and the U15 finals will run Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. Eastern.
On the lanes Saturday at Game of Wickliffe, in youthful battle of the sexes, the all-male 3 Rights Make a Left defeated the all-female Bring It On, 3-1, in the best-of-five modified Baker format to earn the U15 title.
In the unique format, the first two bowlers in the lineup each bowl three frames in the game (1-5-9 and 2-6-10), while the other two competitors bowl two frames each (3-7 and 4-8).
Spencer Robarge, the U12 boys champion at the 2015 Junior Gold Championships, anchored 3 Rights Make a Left to the victory, which included winning three consecutive games after losing the opener.
The scores were: 163-189, 218-172, 223-182 and 207-176.
Robarge was joined by Brandon Bonta, Silas Limes and Peyton Montgomery. The group was representing the Midwest.
Bring It On, the Northeast representative, included Paige Boyd, Marissa Cosentini, 2015 girls U12 Junior Gold champion Amanda Naujokas, Sarah Orensky, Kamerin Peters and Paige Peters.
The team was coached by the International Bowling Campus Youth Committee’s Volunteer of the Year Leslie Bohn and United States Bowling Congress and Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III.
In the U12 final, California’s Cloverleaf Strikers, representing the Pacific Southwest, downed Georgia All Stars, the Atlantic East regional champion, 3-1, in the best-of-five modified Baker finals to earn the U12 title.
The scores were: 169-167, 174-206, 204-147 and 192-185.
The winning team includes 2016 NorCal Bowling Centers Youth Bowling Association All-Stars Nihal Mareedu and Diego Jara, Harley Shene and Joey Irvin.
In the finale, Georgia All Stars closed with four strikes, leaving Cloverleaf anchor Harley Shene needing a mark and three pins to secure the title. He struck on his first shot to seal it.
Georgia All Stars includes Jacob Ballenger, Bryant Griffith, James Armendariz and Riley Stewart.
Ballenger and Griffith were part of the U12 second-place team in 2016, while their coaches, Ellen and Bill Johnson, helped the South region’s The Strikers to the U15 championship.
All rounds of qualifying and match play leading up to the televised finals were broadcast on BowlTV.
The USA Bowling program was introduced at the regional level in 2013 and grew to include the first USA Bowling National Championships last year in Indianapolis.
The 32 teams competing in the Cleveland area this week all earned their spots at the national event by winning one of 16 regional tournaments held across the country throughout the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017.
USA Bowling is a product of the Youth Education Services (YES) Fund, a joint initiative of the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America and United States Bowling Congress supported by top bowling brands including Bowling.com, Columbia 300, Ebonite, Hammer, QubicaAMF, Roto Grip, Storm and Track.
For more information on the USA Bowling National Championships or Junior Gold Championships, visit BOWL.com.