Junior Gold heads to match play

INDIANAPOLIS - Four bowlers earned automatic spots on Junior Team USA as qualifying wrapped up Thursday at the 2012 North Pointe Junior Gold Championships presented by Brunswick.

Junior Gold match playMichael Coffey of Melbourne, Fla., Matthew Farber of Plainview, N.Y., Natalie Goodman of O'Fallon, Ill., and Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., all earned automatic spots on Junior Team USA in 2013 by virtue of their 25-game totals in the 20-and-under division to end qualifying at Woodland Bowl. The top 16 in each of the four divisions after qualifying advanced to Friday's match play.

Coffey finished as the qualifying leader for the U20 boys with a 25-game total of 5,560 (222.4 average), while Farber finished second with 5,490.

"I'm feeling like my swing will be a lot looser tomorrow in match play," Coffey said. "But there's still a lot of hard work to do to win this tournament."

On the U20 girls side, the left-handed Goodman earned the top seed for Friday's match-play bracket with a 5,287 (211.4 average) total, while McEwan was second with 5,246 to earn a Junior Team USA spot for the third time.

"This is definitely something that years ago was just a distant dream, and now it's reality," said Goodman, who bowls collegiately at Vanderbilt. "I've accomplished the No. 1 goal, but tomorrow is a new day. Half the work is done, the other half is yet to come."

In the U15 boys division, Meeco Walker of East Cleveland, Ohio, earned the top seed heading into match play with 5,244 (209.7 average). Alex Martin of Smyrna, Ga., qualified second with 5,206.

Kelly Skalacki of Coram, N.Y., jumped into the top spot the last game of qualifying to lead the U15 girls with 4,897 (195.8 average). Hannah Munson of Cottage Grove, Minn., earned the second seed with 4,889.

In addition to the automatic Junior Team USA spot awarded Thursday night, additional automatic spots will be given to the winner and runner-up after bracket play in the 20-and-under division. If one or both of the finalists in the bracket already earned a spot through qualifying, the automatic spot becomes an at-large selection.

The National Selection Committee will select two boys and two girls from the match-play field, with all bowlers, including 15 and under, eligible for at-large selection. The final eight spots - four boys and four girls - on Junior Team USA will continue to be determined at the USBC Team USA Trials.

Bowling fans will be able to watch match play live from Junior Gold on BOWL.com's BowlTV on Friday at 8 a.m. Eastern.