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Bowling: Youth events, awards highlight end of season

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Updated: June 30, 2013 6:45AM



Unlike many adults who put their bowling balls in the closet when late spring arrives, most youth bowlers are in it 365/24/7 and still love the sport unconditionally.

So the sport never stops for them and there is plenty of youth bowling news from the past few weeks outside of the Post-Tribune Youth Scholarship Tournament from a couple weeks ago.

The annual Indiana Middle School Bowling state tourney took place on May 18, and as usual, Northwest Indiana was well represented. Makayla Himden from Fegely Middle School finished second in the sixth-grade girls division, while Trevor Egolf from Willowcreek Middle School placed second in the seventh-grade boys division. Sarah Voiers from Westchester Middle School also earned runner-up honors in eighth-grade girls, one spot ahead of third-place Maryssa Carey from Hobart Middle School.

But just like in high school bowling, our region’s team success supersedes individual. Willowcreek captured the team title led by a pair of Austins who compete at Camelot Bowl. Austin Trent rolled 643 and Austin Schultz had 639 to help the Portage school win by 15 pins over Madison Middle School. Egolf and Michael McGregor were the other members of the champs.

On the older end of the youth bowling spectrum, the Northwest Indiana Junior Tournament Players Association (NWIJTPA) concluded its latest season with a grueling event at Hobart Lanes — three five-game blocks on three different oil patterns with the last one a 46-foot, high-volume flat shot. Hobart’s Bobby Kammer won his first title, while Boone Grove’s Paige Kraushaar won her third of the season and fifth overall. That sealed her girls player of the year honor, while Jake Yankauskas got the boys’ honor after he finished third in the season finale.

The tour awarded more than $8,000 in scholarship money during the season with about $3,000 of it given out at the last event.

Speaking of Paige Kraushaar, she was also one of the recipients of the annual NWI High School Career Achievement Award that was started several years ago to highlight one boy or girl who shined all four years of their high school bowling career. For the first time, the originators of this award (one of which is myself) couldn’t pick just one. So Kraushaar and Merrillville’s Carly Larson both earned the award.

Kraushaar helped lead Boone to the girls state title this year, while also finishing sixth in the singles competition. It was her best season, but she shined every year.

Larson was nearly the same. She culminated her career with a singles state title — a first for any region high school bowler. But she’s made other long runs in the postseason. And both have earned P-T bowler of the year honors. Sometimes picking co-winners of an award seems like a cop-out — that’s what one of my former bosses told me regarding P-T player of the year honors — but this time it’s deserved.



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