Champions crowned at 2012 Junior Gold

INDIANAPOLIS - Four bowlers earned national youth titles Friday at the 2012 North Pointe Junior Gold Championships presented by Brunswick.

AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., Robyn Renslow of Brentwood, Calif., Bradley Crouse, Nazareth, Pa., and Breanna Clemmer, Clover, S.C., all came away with championships in their respective divisions at Woodland Bowl. A record total of 1,929 athletes took part in the event competing for more than $250,000 in scholarships.

Junior Gold winnersA Team USA and Junior Team USA member in 2012, Johnson rolled to the 20-and-under boys title by going undefeated in the double-elimination match-play bracket with a 5-0 record. He defeated Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., 453-411, in the two-game title match.

"This is one of the greatest feelings in the world," said Johnson, who is entering his sophomore year at McKendree University. "This is the biggest youth tournament in the country, and to come out on top is truly a blessing. I can't put words to it."

In the U20 girls championship match, Renslow entered as the undefeated player, but lost the first match to Jacqueline Carbonetto of Blauvelt, N.Y., 456-314, before rebounding and winning the deciding match, 390-331.

"I really can't thank everyone who has helped me enough to help get me here, and it's quite an accomplishment to say the least," said Renslow, who will start her freshman year at Vanderbilt University this fall. "My biggest goal was to make Junior Team USA, and to reach that goal has really made my day."

The event champions and runners-up in the U20 divisions earned automatic spots on Junior Team USA for 2013. In addition, the top two after 25 games of qualifying also earned automatic spots.

After Thursday's final qualifying round, Michael 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 the team.

In addition, the National Selection Committee added two additional boys and two additional girls to the team, taking Holly Harris of Long Prairie, Minn., Sarah Lokker of New Baltimore, Mich., Gregory Young of Viera, Fla., and Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash.

In the U15 boys final, Crouse took down Cortez Schenck of Phoenix, who entered the championship match undefeated. Crouse, who lost his first match in bracket play, defeated Schenck in consecutive matches, 349-347 and 448-404.

"It hasn't sunk in yet, but it probably will tonight," the 14-year-old Crouse said. "Once I lost my first match, I knew it would be a lot of bowling. I just started winning and I took it match by match."

Clemmer managed to make it through the U15 girls bracket undefeated, going 5-0 and defeating Ashley Dunn of Palmdale, Calif., 369-339, in the title match.

"It's unbelievable to believe that I'm a Junior Gold champion," said Clemmer, a 14-year-old who will be a freshman in high school this fall. "I've trained real hard for Junior Gold, and I'm hoping I can be back here doing this again next year."

Four U15 bowlers who were age eligible earned spots to compete in the Tournament of Americas in 2013. The top players after qualifying were given automatic spots with Dunn and Wesley Low of Palmdale, Calif., earning those spots. The National Selection Committee picked Crouse and Clemmer to also compete in the event.

Earning the David Dahms Sportsmanship award at this year's Junior Gold were Amanda Vogt of Pleasant Grove, Calif., Julia Okumura of West Valley City, Utah, Kyle Anderson of Lockport, Ill., and Low.