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Young, Petravich claim U.S. Junior Amateur titles

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. - Kristie Petravich of West Palm Beach, Fla., and Geoffrey Young of Denton, Texas, beat a field of the best youth bowlers in the country Friday to win U.S. Junior Amateur titles at the 2008 United States Bowling Congress Junior Gold Championships.


The championships featured nearly 1,500 bowlers from across the country competing for $100,000 in scholarships, individual titles and spots on Junior Team USA.



Young, 18, who will attend Wichita State this fall, struck on the first ball of the final frame to lock up the title with 10,345 for 46 games, including 220 bonus pins for match-play victories. He defeated second-place finisher Daniel Spink of Florissant, Mo., 211-208 in the final game of match play.

"This win proves to me that I was able to make the team two years in a row," said Young, who finished tied for third at last year's Junior Gold, missing the title by just four pins. "After spending a year on the team working with the coaches and going to training camp, I just really wanted to experience that again."

On the girls side, Petravich led by more than 200 pins going into the last game and easily won the title with a 46-game total of 9,942, including 260 pins for match-play victories. Local bowler Christine Bator of Warren, Mich., finished second with 9,775, including 150 bonus pins.

"This means a lot because I didn't think I would ever win," said Petravich, 18, who plans to attend the University of Central Florida this fall. "I never thought I was good enough to win this tournament. This boosts my confidence and I'm definitely happy to win."

The top four finishers in each division earned automatic spots on Junior Team USA 2009 with the National Selection Committee picking two boys and two girls to join the team. Selections were made from the pool of athletes who advance to match play competition.

Joining Young and Spink on the boys squad was third-place finisher Tim Pfeifer of Cranberry Township, Pa., and fourth-place finisher Andrew Koff of Miami. Additional members of the girls team are Ricki Williams of Wichita, Kan., who finished third, and fourth-place finisher Kim Yioulos of Rochester, N.Y.

The National Selection Committee added Brent Bowers of Mulvane, Kan., Jarret Mizo of Honolulu, Brittni Hamilton of Webster, N.Y., and Jessica Earnest of Vandalia, Ill., to Junior Team USA 2009 as at-large members.

Four additional boys and four girls will be added to Junior Team USA at a later date. The top two boys and two girls at the USBC Team USA Trials (dates and location to be determined) who are under age 20 as of Jan. 1, 2009 will earn automatic spots. The National Selection Committee will then select two males and two females from a pool of athletes who made match play at the Junior Gold Championships or who competed in the Team USA Trials.

Athletes in both the boys and girls divisions of the Junior Gold Championships rolled 18 games of qualifying July 7-9 at Sunnybrook Lanes, Sterling Lanes and Century Bowl. The qualifying field was then trimmed to the top 107 boys and 57 girls who competed in 12 games of semifinals on July 10. The top 16 boys and 16 girls then took part in 16 games of round-robin match play Friday at Sunnybrook Lanes.