MOREHEAD – Morehead State University bowler Zachary Doty of Nassau, New York, won his age division at the 2015 Junior Gold Championships at the Stardust Bowl in Addison, Illinois.
Doty won the men’s 20-and-under titles and Sierra Kanemoto of Dayton, Ohio, took home the women’s prize.
“I am very proud of Zach. He bowled with a lot of heart, determination and a never-give-up attitude all week. What an accomplishment winning this event with the top youth bowlers in the country,” said Bobby Brown, MSU bowling coach.
The finals in each division were taped for broadcast on CBS Sports Network and will air in August. The U20 finals will air Aug. 18. All shows begin at 10 p.m.
A record 3,191 bowlers traveled to DuPage County, Illinois, to compete for part of the $275,000 in total scholarships. The tournament’s previous participation record took place in 2014, when 2,479 competitors made their way to Buffalo, New York.
Competitors participated in three rounds of qualifying before the field eventually was narrowed down to the top 16 players in the U15 and U20 divisions and top eight in U12 for the double-elimination match-play bracket. Each round featured two-game matches with total pinfall determining the winner.
Doty took the early lead in the boys U20 championship match against Brandon Biondo of Carpentersville, Illinois, and held off a late rally down the stretch to capture the title in his final Junior Gold appearance, 416-388.
“I was just trying to fill frames and trying to make every shot close to give it a chance to strike or leave something makeable,” said Doty, a 20-year-old right-hander. “This is crazy. It doesn’t seem real. I came into this year just hoping to make the second cut, maybe match play. It’s unbelievable.”
The girls U20 final saw a back-and-forth contest between Kanemoto and defending U20 champion Breanna Clemmer of Clover, South Carolina, as both rebounded from slow starts to finish strong. Kanemoto, who bowls collegiately at Wichita State, finished with a 232 game to earn the title with a 401-385 win.
“My collegiate teammates were making funny faces and really helped me calm down,” said Kanemoto, a 19-year-old right-hander. “This week was unbelievable. No words can describe it. It hasn’t even hit me yet.”