John Vohs and Tammy Veneski were equally surprised at winning the Division 1 titles Wednesday in the Pepsi Youth Bowling Championships at Transit Lanes. They had different reasons.
Vohs, who barely qualified, kept surprising himself as he rolled to five straight victories, taking the title with a 207-184 victory over Bradley Owen of Pocatello, Idaho, in the boys finals.
"It was like I couldn't lose," said Vohs, a 16-year-old junior at Harwich (Mass.) High on Cape Cod. "I was nervous before each match but I kept telling myself to 'just keep on winning.' "
The burly Vohs, who was cheered on by family and friends, many wearing their Red Sox caps, qualified last (16th) for match play Tuesday. He was 17th until a scoring error was discovered. Then he had to survive a two-frame rolloff to win his first match over No. 1 qualifier Jesse Wiens of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
"I had a spare, two strikes and a nine in the rolloff, I think," Vohs said. "It seems so long ago, I'm not sure."
Veneski, 17, who is going into her senior year at South Fayette High in Western Pennsylvania, won the Pepsi girls division 1 crown two years ago in Indianapolis. She didn't make it out of the state qualifier last year and she wasn't too confident about her chances here this year.
"It can't happen twice," she thought, but it did.
To win the title, Veneski had to defeat No. 1 qualifier Katelyn Combs of Elkton, Md., twice. It was Combs who sent Veneski to the losers bracket Wednesday morning.
"She whupped me (217-202)," Veneski said. After winning one match in the losers brack, Vaneski faced Combs again and swept her this time, 204-180 and 252-167.
Vohs, who earns his bowling money by working part-time in a grocery store, and Veneski, who is a volleyball and softball player at South Fayette, each earned a $2,000 scholarship with their victories.
Kellie Golias of Sugarloaf, Pa., and Derrick Stewart of Buena Vista, Pa., won the Pepsi Division 2 girls and boys championships, respectively, and also received $2,000 scholarships.