Cummins and Robarge Lead Heading into Advancers Rounds at 2022 Junior Gold
BY DAVE SCHROEDER
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Four rounds of qualifying are complete in the 20-and-under division of the 2022 Junior Gold Championships with Mabel Cummins and Spencer Robarge leading the way as the event heads into Wednesday’s advancers rounds.
Cummins of Elburn, Illinois, posted a 269 in Game 3 of her final block Tuesday at Fairlanes Bowling Center to help propel her into the top spot with a 214.19 average for her 16 games. Cummins, a Junior Team USA member and 2016 Girls U15 Junior Gold champion, owns an 84-pin lead over Mary Orf of O’Fallon, Illinois, who checks in with 3,343 pins. Orf led after Rounds 2 and 3.
Robarge, a Junior Team USA member and 2015 Boys U12 champion from Springfield, Missouri, posted a 16-game pinfall of 3,526 at Sherman Bowling Center. That was good for a 220.38 average and an 18-pin lead over Austin Grammar of Hamersville, Ohio. Grammar led the first three rounds of the event.
Cummins, who will be a senior on Vanderbilt University’s bowling team this year, started the event slowly and sat in 22nd place with a 192.75 average after Monday’s opening round, but steadily moved up the standings over her three rounds Tuesday.
“I was a little stressed out, especially starting the first block yesterday with 770-something,” said Cummins. “I was a little concerned, so it is nice that I was finally able to settle in on this last pattern and gain some momentum.”
Cummins went from 22nd to eighth after Round 2, then into second place after Round 3 before taking the lead in Round 4. But Cummins knows her work is far from done.
“It’s 26 games across six different patterns,” said Cummins. “In the end, the people that are the most consistent generally are going to rise to the top. So, that’s what I kept reminding myself. Just be consistent across the patterns and clean up what you leave.”
Kirsten Moore of Tallmadge, Ohio, jumped from 20th after Day 1 into third place with a total pinfall of 3,332. Jaelle Hamman, another Junior Team USA member and last year’s Girls U18 champion, also made a nice move going from 28th after Monday’s first round into the fourth spot at the end of Day 2. Hamman of Jarell, Texas, has 3,321 pins. Rounding out the top five is Katelyn Orisek of Yorkville, Illinois, with 3,242.
Despite Cummins’ standout performance, the brightest star in Tuesday’s last round of qualifying was Dakota Lennen of Wichita, Kansas. Lennen began the last round of qualifying in 37th place with an average of 182.33 for her first 12 games. It was a different story in Round 4 as Lennen started with a 298 game, followed by 226 and 279 for an 803 series (her first ever). She ended with 247 for a four-game total of 1,050 (262.50 average) and vaulted into sixth place (3,238).
On the boy’s side, Jeremy Kinealy of St. Louis sits in third place with 3,479 pins. Justin Bohn of Jackson, New Jersey, went from 35th after Round 1 to fourth (3,472) and 2018 Boys U15 champion Silas Lira of Tampa, Florida, rounds out the top five (3,387).
The U20 divisions have cut to the top 89 boys and 48 girls for Wednesday’s advancers rounds. It took an average of 176.50 to make the cut on the boy’s side and 180.19 for the girls.
The first advancers round will feature five games before a second cut is made, and a final five-game block will determine the athletes in the boys and girls divisions advancing to the double-elimination match-play bracket.
Bracket matches will consist of two games, with total pinfall determining the winner. Three players will emerge from bracket play to compete in the stepladder finals to determine the champion. The two finalists in the match-play bracket will bowl to determine the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds for the stepladder, while the winner of the Elimination Bracket will be the No. 3 seed.
With the finals in each division being broadcast on BowlTV.com, the top overall seed for the stepladder would have to be defeated twice in the true double-elimination format.
The championship rounds in the U20 division will be held July 15 at 9 a.m. Eastern.