JUNIOR GOLD U15 TITLES DETERMINED ON CBS SPORTS NETWORK
INDIANAPOLIS - Solomon Salama of Beverly Hills, California, and Mabel Cummins of Elburn, Illinois, claimed the 15-and-under division titles at the 2016 Junior Gold Championships presented by Storm, Roto Grip and Master at Western Bowl.
The finals, which aired Tuesday on CBS Sports Network, saw Salama defeat Nick Archaki of Saegerstown, Pennsylvania, 417-409, while Cummins defeated Sarah Sanes of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 420-366, in the two-game, total-pins matches.
In the boys' final, Salama opened with a 210 game to take a four-pin advantage over Archacki after Game 1. The match came down to the final frame as Salama finished first with a 207 game, forcing Archacki to mark for the win. After leaving a 5-6 on his first offering, Archacki was unable to convert, giving Salama the victory.
"I told myself just to make my spares, because I knew the strikes would follow," Salama said. "If I could get one or two doubles per game, I knew I would be in the match. Nick threw great shots all week, and that was just an errant shot. He threw thousands of great shots this week and really bowled great. This was a very surprising win, since it's my first year in U15 and I didn't bowl well at all in U12 last year. To make it this far and win is amazing."
In the U15 girls' final, Cummins, a two-time United States Bowling Congress Youth Open champion, remained calm and collected as she rolled to a 420-366 victory over Sarah Sanes of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
"Even though there was a lot going on around me, I was just focusing on hitting my target and making clean shots," said Cummins, a 14-year-old. "I don't like to watch the scores, so I didn't realize that I had won until they announced my name as a Junior Gold champion. This is an amazing feeling and I'm so happy and incredibly thankful to everyone who's helped me get here."
No matter the outcome of the tournament, Cummins wanted to achieve either of two goals during the 2016 Junior Gold Championships: claim the No. 1 seed after qualifying and earn a spot on the Junior Team USA Developmental squad. Despite a rough start to the tournament, she was able to accomplish both.
"I got to say the first two days were kind of rough," Cummins said. "I wasn't in a really good rhythm. I didn't have a super look on the lanes. I wasn't as focused the first few days, but I wanted to be top qualifier or win Junior Gold to make Developmental Team USA. Those were my goals and I was able to accomplish them."
Sanes, who represents Puerto Rico in international competition, recorded her second runner-up finish at Junior Gold. She finished in second in U12 at the 2014 event in Buffalo, New York.
Along with Cummins, Salama also earned a spot on the U15 Developmental Team along with Allie Leiendecker of Wooster, Ohio, and Richard Paul III of Winton, California.
For more information about the Junior Gold Championships, visit BOWL.com/JuniorGold.
2016 JUNIOR GOLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
PRESENTED BY STORM, ROTO GRIP AND MASTER
At Western Bowl, Indianapolis
(Two-game matches decided by total pinfall)
Solomon Salama, Beverly Hills, Calif., def. Nick Archaki, Saegertown, Pennsylvania, 417-409
Mabel Cummins, Elburn, Ill., def. Sarah Sanes, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 420-366.