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Youth earns spot in national bowling finals

Photo: Mabel Cummins prepares for the upcoming ISYL event at Mardi Gras Lanes in DeKalb. Courtesy Photo

ELBURN—Mabel Cummins, added another bowling trophy to her collection this past weekend with a win in the 12-under Boys & Girls “Scratch” division at the Illinois State Youth Leaders scholarship event. Mabel joined over a hundred of the state’s top young strikers at Brookmont Lanes in Kankakee, Ill., as they vied for college scholarships and recognition at the United States Bowling Congress-sanctioned competition.

Participants in both scratch and handicap divisions bowled six games, moving one pair of lanes to the right after each game on a very challenging oil pattern that changed rapidly as the day wore on. Mabel posted the highest total pin fall to claim the top spot in her division and earned an invitation to the 2014 Junior Gold Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. The Junior Gold Championships is recognized as the largest and most coveted youth bowling tournament in the United States, showcasing the nation’s elite bowlers as they compete for scholarship funds and individual titles in six divisions for boys and girls up to age 20. Top finishers can earn spots on Junior Team USA, the development squad for America’s international (professional) bowling team.

Although Mabel spends most of her time on the lanes at Funway Entertainment Center in Batavia, she is no stranger to national events, having placed fifth in the U-12 Girls division at the 2013 United States Bowling Congress Youth Open Championships in Detroit. She says she doesn’t look forward to the long drives to distant events, but she likes visiting new places and she is really excited about going to Niagara Falls, the most popular attraction in the Buffalo area.