Junior Team USA's Stretch still in medal contention at 2024 IBF Youth World Cup

Women's Round-Robin Match Play Results
Men's Round-Robin Match Play Results

LIMA, Peru – When Jenna Stretch of Auburn Township, Ohio, learned that she would be making her Junior Team USA competitive debut at the 2024 International Bowling Federation Youth World Cup in Lima, Peru, she began dreaming about what it would feel like to bring home a medal.

She took another step toward turning that dream into reality on Thursday as she qualified for the quarterfinals by placing eighth in the women’s field at the conclusion of 15 games of round-robin match play at VIDENA Bowling Center of La Villa Deportiva Nacional (VIDENA) in Lima.

By reaching the quarterfinals, Stretch sits just two wins away from capturing her first medal as a member of Junior Team USA.

Stretch secured the eighth and final spot in the women’s quarterfinal field by grinding her way to a 10-5 mark on Thursday despite recording just three games over 200 (212, 211 and 205) en route to a 15-game total of 2,980, which included 30 bonus pins for each match victory.

Although the block had its ups and downs, Stretch was pleased with her ability to meet the challenges and move on to Friday’s final day of competition.

“Today wasn’t really what I was used to as it was faster paced, and we bowled a lot of games in one day,” Stretch said. “Still, I just tried to stay patient and overcome the struggles when they came. In the end, I finished it out, and I’m just grateful to advance.”

Thursday’s other seven advancers on the women’s side were Sweden’s Nora Johansson (14-1 – 3,620); Singapore’s Ning Tay (10-5 – 3,442); Costa Rica’s Elena Weinstok (13-2 – 3,395); Colombia’s Sara Duque (9-6 – 3,110); Malaysia’s Nur Hazirah Binti Ramli (7-8 – 3,081); Czech Republic’s Eliska Krummerova (9-6 – 3,065) and Guatemala’s Sofia Olivares (9-6 – 2,995).

Friday’s quarterfinal-round matchups will see the No. 1 seed facing the No. 8 seed, the No. 2 seed battling the No. 7 seed and so on, which means Stretch will square off against Sweden’s Johansson when action begins at 8 a.m. Eastern.

The four quarterfinal winners in each division will advance to the semifinal round while those that fall will be eliminated.

Once the semifinals are completed, the two winners in each division will advance to bowl for gold and silver. The bowlers who come up short during the semis will square off to decide who takes home the men’s and women’s bronze medals.

All matches on Friday will follow a best-of-three games format.

Stretch knows that she’s likely to have her hands full with Johansson, who dominated the women’s field during the latter stages of qualifying and Thursday’s round-robin block.

However, Stretch won’t be focusing on what her opponents are doing; she’s simply going to try to handle her own business.

“I’m just going to do my best and try to finish on a good note, whatever that may be,” Stretch said. “Whoever my opponents are, I’m just going to be focused on my game and try to do the best that I can do.”

Stretch’s Junior Team USA teammate Carter Street of Dublin, Ohio, tried his best during Thursday’s 15 games of round-robin match play in the men’s division; unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as Street failed to advance to the quarterfinals after placing 11th with a 5-10 record and 3,064 total (including bonus pins).

The following bowlers finished in the top eight during Thursday’s round-robin session and advanced to the men’s quarterfinals: Sweden’s Robin Ilhammar (13-2 – 3,763); Malaysia’s Megat Zaqrul Msiqal (11-3-1 – 3,761); Singapore’s Aiman Raedyn Lim Jen (11-4 – 3,757); Romania’s Dragnia Mihai Alin (9-6 – 3,580); Czech Republic’s Lukas Jelinek (9-6 – 3,580); Germany’s Zeno Jansen (10-5 – 3,536); Puerto Rico’s Edgar Burgos (6-7-2 – at 3,302) and Colombia’s Samuel Calderon (8-7 – 3,296).

Friday marks the final day of the 2024 Youth World Cup. After all medals have been conferred, the evening will end with athletes and coaches taking part in the closing ceremonies and banquet to officially bring the tournament to a close.

For tournament results, standings and information, visit the Peruvian Bowling Federation’s website, FEDEPERUBOWLING.com/World-Youth-Cup.

For more information on Junior Team USA, visit BOWL.com/JuniorTeamUSA.