U20 CHAMPIONS CROWNED AT 2016 JUNIOR GOLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
The championship rounds, held at Western Bowl, consisted of two games with total pinfall determining the winner and were broadcast on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday.
The U20 girls' title match required more than 20 frames to complete as Evans and Haley Cummings of Huber Heights, Ohio, tied after two games before Evans won in a ninth and 10th frame roll-off, 45-39. Mann cruised to victory in the U20 boys' match, defeating Dustin Zehner of South Bend, Indiana, 432-331.
The back-and-forth U20 girls' championship match saw Cummings grab a slight lead after the opening game, 220-216.
In Game 2, Evans delivered a strike and spare in the 10th frame to finish with 195, forcing Cummings to mark to claim the title. Cummings' first shot hit the pocket, leaving the 7 pin standing, but she was unable to convert the single pin to finish with 191 to tie the match, 411-411.
Both Evans and Cummings started with strikes to kick off the roll-off. Cummings added a spare and nine-count in the 10th to finish with 39, giving Evans the opportunity to secure the win. She recorded a strike on her first effort and clinched the U20 title with a six count on her second, finishing with the 45-39 victory.
"I honestly couldn't believe it," said Evans, a 20-year-old who will be a junior at Lawrence Tech this fall. "I had to walk away for a second when I realized the chance was still there. Striking in the 10th was an unreal feeling. I bowl in the anchor spot in college, so I've gotten used to the pressure. It was a feeling I wanted to have, and that's when I get my adrenaline going and make quality shots. This was a great week."
Mann quickly built a big lead in the U20 boys' final after trusting what he saw from his ball reaction during practice, which helped him deliver a 237 game in the opener as Zehner was unable to get anything going, finishing with just one strike and three open frames for 144.
The 17-year-old right-hander continued to cruise in the finale to secure his first Junior Gold title, 195-187.
"When I came out to throw my first practice shots, it was nothing like I was expecting," said Mann, who will start his senior year at William Henry Harrison High School in the fall. "I knew I had to come in with an open mind, so it was either a move or ball change. I switched to a ball that I hadn't thrown all week, but I had a feeling and good reaction, so I decided to move off that and go with it. This is unreal. I'm still trying to process making Junior Team USA first. Usually, I'd be nervous or shaking, but I'm completely still. I'm waiting for it to set in, and it's going to hit me like a wall all at once."
Six boys and six girls also earned spots on Junior Team USA for 2017 through their performances at the 2016 Junior Gold Championships.
Jared Armstrong of Louisville, Kentucky, Pete Vergos of Apopka, Florida, Wesley Low of Palmdale, California, and Thomas McNeal of Burien, Washington, earned spots on the boys team through qualifying, while Zehner and Mann also made the team by advancing to the championship round.
Low is making his fifth consecutive appearance on Junior Team USA, while the other five boys are first-time members.
A total of five players made the girls team through qualifying, including 2016 Junior Team USA members Heather Penatzer of Tucson, Arizona, Julia Bond of Aurora, Illinois, Sydney Brummett of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Sierra Kanemoto of Dayton, Ohio. Adrianna Stacy of Sebring, Florida, will make her first appearance on Junior Team USA.
Cummings also earned her spot in 2017 by advancing to the title match. Evans was ineligible for a spot due to age requirements.
The finals of the U12 and U15 USA Bowling National Championships, which also took place at Western Bowl, are scheduled to air in the upcoming weeks on CBS Sports Network. The U12 final will be Tuesday, Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, and the U15 championship will be Monday, Aug. 22 at 10 p.m. Eastern.
2016 JUNIOR GOLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
PRESENTED BY STORM, ROTO GRIP AND MASTER
At Western Bowl, Indianapolis
(Two-game matches decided by total pinfall)
Jeffery Mann, West Lafayette, Ind., def. Dustin Zehner, South Bend, Ind., 432-331
Jacqueline Evans, Acton, Mass., def. Haley Cummings, Huber Heights, Ohio, 411-411 (Evans won roll-off, 45-39)