Spoiler Alert: The following story contains information about the 12-and-under finals of the 2019 Junior Gold Championships presented by the Brands of Ebonite International. The stepladder finals will air Tuesday, July 23, on CBS Sports Network at 8 p.m. (Eastern) and a complete story will be published after the broadcast.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. – The 12-and-under champions of the 2019 Junior Gold Championships presented by the Brands of Ebonite International were determined Friday at Thunderbowl Lanes.
CBS Sports Network will air the boys and girls stepladder finals on Tuesday, July 23, at 8 p.m. Eastern. The three-person stepladder was introduced at the Junior Gold Championships last year.
The 2019 Junior Gold Championships, hosted by the city of Detroit and the Detroit Sports Commission, had a record field of more than 4,000 participants competing for national titles and spots on Junior Team USA.
The U12 division had 262 boys and 134 girls.
Katelyn Abigania of San Diego successfully defended her U12 girls title, coming back through the contenders bracket in match play to make the televised finals as the No. 3 seed.
In the opening match against Gianna Brandolino of Joliet, Illinois, Abigania trailed by 15 pins through seven frames before Brandolino left a 7-10 split and followed it with a missed single pin to open the door for Abigania, who stayed clean for a 180-174 victory.
In the title match, top seed Abby Starkey of Schaumburg, Illinois, struggled in the early going with open frames in four of the first six frames. Abigania took advantage, missing only a single-pin spare in the fourth frame, on her way to a 196-147 victory.
In the boys final, Elias O’Hollaren of San Diego, followed his USA Bowling teammate’s lead by winning the title as the No. 3 seed. O’Hollaren and Abigania are on the SDLV team in the USA Bowling National Championships.
In his opening match against Braden McDonough of Coppell, Texas, O’Hollaren strung together three strikes, starting in the third frame, to build a 32-pin lead and went on to take a 200-168 victory.
Against No. 1 seed Duke Knudsen of Redmond, Washington, the opponent who knocked him into the contenders bracket, O’Hollaren trailed by three pins late in the match.
Knudson tripped a four pin for a strike in the eighth frame, but left the door open with a spare in the ninth. O’Hollaren struck in the ninth and then posted strikes on the first two shots in the final frame to take the title, 211-197.
Competitors in the U12 division bowled 16 qualifying games over four days (four games each day) before the field was cut. The advancers then bowled an additional four games to trim the field to the top eight boys and top eight girls for match play.
Match play was a double-elimination bracket.
BowlTV.com provided live coverage of the Junior Gold Championships from selected centers, including coverage of U12 match play.
Thunderbowl Lanes was one of eight centers that hosted qualifying and match-play rounds leading up to the stepladder finals. The other centers were AMF Rose Bowl Lanes in Roseville, Astro Lanes in Madison Heights, Bowl One Lanes in Troy, Century Bowl in Waterford Township, Skore Lanes in Taylor, Sterling Lanes in Sterling Heights, and Super Bowl Lanes in Canton.
The stepladder finals in the other three divisions will be Saturday, also at Thunderbowl Lanes. The U17 finalist will bowl at 2 p.m., U20 at 5 p.m. and U15 at 8 p.m.
Visit BOWL.com/JuniorGold for more information on the event and the Junior Gold program.