Buffalo area bowling establishments and local the ten-pin community are geared up to host two major competitions this month – the United State Bowling Congress Youth Open and Junior Gold Tournament.
Competition gets underway today in the bowl.com Youth Open presented by USBC with all games bowled at AMF Thruway Lanes on Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga. The three-week competition will continue through July 27.
The North Pointe Junior Gold will begin Monday and wrap up with championship rounds on Friday, July 18.
The bowl.com Youth Open is returning to where the inaugural event was held in 2007. Last year nearly 1,400 bowlers competed in four age groups (U20, U15, U12 and U8) in Detroit.
Each entrant will bowl three games of singles and three games of doubles on the same day and another three games in team competition if entered.
For the first time, there will be separate boys and girls divisions.
Some familiar bowling names will be in the tournament. Brandon Bohn, son of PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III, won the U8 singles in last year’s Youth Open. His cousin,, Natalie Kent, daughter of USBC Hall of Famer Doug Kent of Newark, won U8 all-events.
Also, Haley Carroll, daughter of Cindy Coburn Carroll and granddaughter of the great Doris Coburn, is entered in the U20 division.
Last week, Carroll was named to the Dexter High School All-America team.
Three defending champions from last year’s event will return. Wesley Low of Palmdale, Calif., and Julia Bond of Aurora, Ill., won the U20 division last year, while Cortez Schenck of Phoenix will be back to try and defend his U15 title. U15 girls winner Taylor Russell of Belden, Miss., has moved up to the U20 division this year.
There was one winner from Western New York when the Youth Open was held here in 2007. Gina Maduri of Tonawanda won Girls Division I singles with a 674 total. The girls all-events title went to Brittni Hamilton of Webster, who went on to bowl on an NCAA championship team at Vanderbilt and recently led the qualifying for the USBC Queens Tournament.
This year’s Junior Gold has sold 2,770 spots, bettering the previous record of 2,327 last year in Detroit. Qualifying rounds will be bowled at six area centers, wrapping up on Friday, July 18 at AMF Airport Lanes. Survivor squad matches will be rolled that day at Transit Lanes.
The star-studded Junior Gold field competing for nearly $200,000 in scholarships, will include Western New York standouts Melanie Hannon, Chad Mee, Elizabeth Szpara, Andrew Herbert, Kevin Bienko, Justin Sokolowski, Scott Dudziak, Andrew Blaszak, Ashley Fries, Sara Snyder and Michael Weber.
Founded in 1997, the Junior Gold competition is a five-day event in six age-group divisions: U20, U15 and U12 for both boys and girls. The U12 division was added this year. The entire field will bowl five games of qualifying each day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before the cut for another day of qualifying and the start of match play.
Girls qualifying will be at AMF Lancaster, Classic Lanes and the Tonawanda Bowling Center. Boys qualifying will be at AMF Thruway, Transit and AMF Airport. Match play and finals will be at Airport.
In addition, there will be a youth-adult scholarship tournament at Broadway Sports Center starting Friday and continuing to Wednesday.