By Patrick Brettingen

Youth bowlers from across the state bowled for individual titles, thousands of dollars in scholarships and a shot at making Junior Team USA at the 2024 Wisconsin USBC Pepsi Youth Championships.

A total of 136 bowlers in three age/gender divisions (U12, U15 and U18) hit the lanes on May 11 at the Wisconsin Pepsi state tournament, which was held at Revs Bowl, Bar & Grill in Oshkosh (boys’ divisions) and Rolling Thunder Lanes in Neenah (girls’ divisions).

Individual division champions (or a division representative) earn a spot in the 2024 USBC Junior Gold National Championships July 12-20 in Detroit where they will compete for additional scholarships and a chance to earn a spot on the U.S. junior national team.

Youth bowlers in U8 and U10 age divisions also competed for scholarships and awards but did not advance past regional events.

About $80,000 in scholarship money (including more than $30,000 at the state tournament) was awarded to Wisconsin youth bowlers in all five age/gender divisions at the regional and state levels of the Pepsi tournament this year. Thanks to a record USBC distribution to scholarship providers through the SMART program, each state tournament bowler received a minimum $100 scholarship, and each youth bowler who qualified for and participated in a regional event received an additional $25 scholarship. This was a one-time expenditure from expiring scholarship money provided to BCAW as a SMART scholarship provider.

Here’s a recap of the division competition:

U12 Division

In the U12 Division, Molly Swiatlowski (Cougar Lanes) won the girls’ state title and an $800 scholarship while Makai Vance (El-Ra Bowl) took home the boys’ championship and a $1,100 scholarship. Swiatloswki rolled a six-game total of 1,076 (179.3 average). Vance averaged 202.5 for a 1,215 total.

Gracilyn Moen (Prairie Lanes) finished second in the girls’ division with 1,027 (171.1 average) while Brynlee Kohl (Lakeshore Lanes) finished third with 1,012 (168.6 average). For the boys, Bentley Nelson (Keglers Bowling Center) was runner-up with 1,109 (184.8 average) and Nixon Manke (Watertown Bowl 18) was third with 1,072 (178.6 average).

U15 Division

In the U15 Division, Addison Kohl (Lakeshore Lanes) won the girls’ state title and a $900 scholarship while Griffin Resop (Revs Bowl, Bar & Grill) was crowned boys’ champion and took home a $1,250 scholarship. Kohl fired a 1,325 total (220.8 average). Resop totaled 1,394 (232.3 average).

Megyn Prochaska (Watertown Bowl North) took second for the girls with a total of 1,198 (199.6 average) while Mackenzie Anderson (T & O Lanes) finished third with 1,148 (191.3 average). The boys’ category saw Dawson Kohl (Lakeshore Lanes) take runner-up honors with a 1,366 total (227.6 average) and Henry Vater (Silver Lake Lanes) finish third at 1,308 (218 average).

U18 Division

In the U18 Division, Maggie Porter (Lake Ripley Lanes) won the girls’ state title and an $850 scholarship while Kaiden Storck (Jay’s Lanes) was crowned the boys’ state champ and earned a $1,200 scholarship. Porter fired a 1,409 total (234.8 average) while Storck totaled 1,461 (243.5 average) to win the boys’ category.

Madison Venne (Castle Lanes) took second for the girls with her 1,345 total (224.1 average). Ava Rodefeld (Prairie Lanes) finished third with 1,289 (214.8 average). For the boys in U18, Jon Boulanger (Guttormsen’s Rec Center) was runner-up with 1,440 (240 average) and Tyler Meade (Sugar River Lanes) finished third with 1,398 (233 average).

A total of 1,874 youth bowlers competed in the Pepsi USBC league level in-house qualifying rounds across Wisconsin. Bowlers then advanced from the league level to one of 16 regional competitions trying to earn berths in the state tournament in Oshkosh and Neenah.

Full tournament results and scholarship winners are available on the Pepsi USBC Tournament page of the BCAW website:

https://www.bowlwi.com/tournaments/pepsi-usbc-tournament/

The BCAW extends its gratitude to host proprietors Erik Gialdella (Revs Bowl, Bar & Grill) and Jack Zellmer (Rolling Thunder Lanes) and their top-notch staff members and to sponsors Pepsi and Storm Bowling.