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WICHITA, Kan. – After an exhausting bowling week at the USBC Junior Gold Championships, soon-to-be sophomore Chenoa Rhoades gets to call herself a member of Junior Team USA 2015. Junior Gold was held in Buffalo, N.Y. July 14-18.
Junior Gold is the premiere event for youth bowlers in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. This year’s tournament featured record breaking numbers of 2,479 athletes in six divisions. The tournament begins with 15 games of qualifying on three different patterns in 3 different bowling centers. The field is then cut to the top 86 girls and 154 boys. Players bowl 10 more games and, after 25 games total, the top 2 boys and top 2 girls are awarded automatic spots on Junior Team USA. The field is then cut to the top 16 boys and 16 girls for a double elimination bracket. Champions and runners up are added to Junior Team USA and the National Selection Committee selects an additional 2 boys and 2 girls for Junior Team USA.
Rhoades, of Lafeyette, Ind., found herself in 12th place after an opening 5-game block of 1041. A huge second day of 1161 shot her up to the top of the leaderboard. Chenoa remained in first place after her third set of 954. In the advancers round, she used a 1002 total to maintain her lead. A 1000 block in the advancers round put her in 2nd place, securing her spot on Junior Team USA 2015.
“I told myself all week to just make one shot at a time and make every shot count. I didn’t watch scores the entire event, so it wasn’t until after I had finished my 25th game that I was told I had made the Junior Team. It feels absolutely amazing,” Rhoades said.
In the 2-game, total pins, double elimination bracket, Chenoa won her first match before she was sent into the contenders bracket. She made a run winning her next two matches before exiting the tournament in 5th place.
“Going in to match play I was able to relax since the biggest pressure was off. I kept telling myself to make one shot at a time since that is what got me here,” said Rhoades. “The hardest part of the bracket was having to bowl Ashlyn (Herzberg). We are not only teammates but best friends. We picked the same squad and had been supporting each other all week. She had a great tournament as well.”
Rhoades was not the only Shocker who got some attention, as developmental team member Ashlyn Herzberg also made the bracket portion of the tournament. Herzberg, of Wichita, Kan., used blocks of 1092, 965, 1018, 1003 and 942 to qualify in 6th place. Ashlyn won her first match and then was sent to the contender’s bracket. Herzberg won a match and then fell to Chenoa, finishing the tournament in 7th place.
Other notable finishes include incoming freshmen Hollyann Johansen and Sydney Brummett, who finished 46th and 58th, respectively. On the men’s side, incoming freshman Thomas Peters finished 23rd while soon-to-be junior Zach Rhoades had a 68th place finish.
“We are very proud of how hard all of our athletes have worked this past year. It is always exciting to see hard work pay off, especially in a major event such as Junior Gold,” Assistant Coach Mark Lewis said. “We are looking forward to the start of the season and to build on the successful summers our players have had.”
More information about Junior Gold can be found at: www.bowl.com/juniorgold.
The Rhatigan Student Center has been the major financial and administrative supporter of the Wichita State University bowling program since 1959.