Gettel wins Pepsi USBC tourney [UPDATED]Published 10:11am Thursday, May 9, 2013 Updated 10:12am Thursday, May 9, 2013
When Fergus Falls sophomore Mary Gettel won the Pepsi USBC Youth Bowling district tournament at Northern Aire Lanes, she knew that she had earned a trip to the State Tournament. The 2013 Finals were being held in Austin, Mn on May 4-5. She knew that she would be competing against the best of the best from Minnesota. Bowling in the U20 division, she would be bowling against girls 15-20 years old. She also knew that just turning sixteen in February, she would be one of the younger competitors in the U20 field.
What she didn’t know however, is that she would step up, and put together an outstanding six game total of 1294, and claim the 2013 U20 Girls MN Pepsi Youth Championship. The tournament format is two blocks of three games, for a six game total pinfall. Gettel got off to a good start on Saturday with a 201 in the first game, but would need more like it to stay in the running. Game two came in just under her current average of 189, at a respectable 181. Gettel said, “(Coach) Luke (Loeffler) told me my lowest game couldn’t be under 180, so I knew that had to be my low game for the day!” As it turned out, it was her low game for the tournament, as she finished the first block with a 205, and 587 for the set.
The field switched lanes and continued on for the second three-game block. Gettel came out strong on the new pair of lanes, rolling a huge 246, followed by a solid 214. “I knew I needed just one more good game!” said Gettel. She did just that, capping off the day with a 247 game, giving her a 707 series for the second block. Gettel’s total pinfall in the scratch tournament was 1294, giving her an impressive 215 average on the day. While the score she put up was very good, it needed to hold up against another squad of top bowlers coming in on Sunday. After all the totals were in, 1294 remained at the top, and Mary Gettel had a State Championship! Taylor Nguyen from Chaska finished in second place, 32 pins back.
The big win also qualifies her into the 2013 North Pointe Junior Gold National Tournament, held this summer in Detroit, Michigan. High school coach Luke Loeffler said, “Mary has put a lot of time and effort into improving her game. It’s nice to see her do so well in a big tournament like this, and it shows her that all the time and hard work does pay off!” Loeffler also noted that Gettel is the first Fergus Falls youth bowler to win a State Championship of this type.
The Pepsi USBC Youth Tournament is a national event, beginning with many states holding in-league qualifiers starting in the fall. In March and April, Minnesota holds thirteen district tournaments, which send qualifiers to the State Finals. From there, four champions, a boy and girl from both U20 and U15, move on to the Junior Gold National Tournament. The Minnesota tournament also awards over $14,000 in scholarships to the top finishers in each division. The Pepsi/USBC tournament is a scratch tournament where there is no handicap/average system used. Fergus Falls bowlers also competing in Austin at the Pepsi/USBC finals were Ryan Wilson, Casey Thom, and Paige Kort.
Minnesota Youth Bowling also runs the Take Minnesota by Storm Tournament, in which handicaps are used based onbowlers’averages. $7500 in scholarships are awarded to the winners in each division, and are put into the bowler’s USBC accounts to be accessed after graduation. The Finals were also held in Austin, Mn. Jayde Jorgenson, Alex Kurtz, Joshua Johnson, Jasmine Benjamin, Landen Krause, and Kaydence Knutson all advancedfrom the district tournament, which took place in April at Northern Aire Lanes in Fergus Falls.