Junior Gold youth bowling qualifier to be held Sunday in Ishpeming

STEVE BROWNLEE

Youthful bowlers up to age 20 will be competing for a chance at college scholarships and a chance to bowl in the national finals when they take part at the Junior Gold qualifying tournament held at River Rock Lanes in Ishpeming on Sunday afternoon.

That’s the former Red Rock Lanes and Country Lanes at the same site it has been for nearly 25 years.

Though not limited to them, this event starting at 1:30 p.m. should include some of the best high school bowlers in the Upper Peninsula.

Both boys and girls, or technically for the 18-and-over crowd, young men and women will start by bowling six games over three pairs of lanes, moving to a different pair each game.

The top bowlers in this qualifying round advance to the stepladder rolloff finals. And I’m told there can be multiple finals going on, separated by age and gender, all dependent on how many entries there are.

For those who are considering entering at the last minute, call River Rock at 486-8000 for more information.

A pair of U.P. competitors who fared well at spring qualifying at Superior Lanes in Marquette advanced to the nine-day national finals in Indianapolis.

While the business end was bowling against other top-notch young bowlers from around the country, the event included an outdoor opening ceremony, seminars and a pro-am event with Storm Bowling staff members and a talk led by top PBA pro Wes Mallott.

Tucker Hemmila of L’Anse and Brooke Fornetti of Iron Mountain traveled there.

Hemmila made a run at advancing past the first round, finishing in 266th place with the top 194 advancing in the boys under-20 division. He averaged 185.4 over 16 games, broken into a quartet of four-game rounds, with an average of around 188 needed to advance.

Fornetti had one rough block and finished in 624th place out of 792 girls in the girls U20. She averaged 153.3 in the same format at Hemmila, but discounting her second block of four, her average was 159.0. It took a 179 average to be among the top 114 that advanced.

The finals of this tourney were also shown on the CBS Sports Network as part of its summer bowling coverage.

There were about 3,700 bowlers competing in six divisions.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.