Oak Harbor’s Victorya White placed 206th out of 360 at the Junior Gold Bowling Championships July 13-18 in Detroit.
The Junior Gold meet is the annual national championship for the top male and female youth bowlers in the United States.
After being among the oldest while placing 12th last year in the U12 division, White, now 13, moved up a class and competed as one of the youngest in the U15 division.
This year she recorded a pin fall of 2,488 after rolling series of 614, 578, 659 and 637, averaging 155.5 per game.
Annalise O’Bryant of Ball Ground, Geo., finished first with a total of 3,111 and an average score of 194.
“I felt like I could have done better,” White said, who came into the tournament with an average in the 190s. “The lane patterns were pretty tough. I had to maneuver a lot to figure it out.”
The bowlers competed at a different bowling alley each day.
“I wasn’t familiar with my surroundings and my dad wasn’t there to watch me, so it wasn’t as good as I wanted.”
Last year’s tournament was in Dallas, and White was backed by extended family who live in the area.
This year, several (her grandmother, an uncle and cousin Serenity) made the trek to Detroit along with White’s mother, Sharee, and sister Madyson, 9. Her father, Roy, is on deployment and caught the tournament by cell phone.
“My sister and cousin helped me a lot, helped me keep my head up,” White said. “When I was down, they would make me laugh.”
Although White didn’t place as high as she had hoped, she said, “As long as I keep practicing and as long as I have my family around to support me, I am good.”
White is already preparing for next year. While in the area, she took part in the Hammer Survivor Tournament Friday, July 19, in Canton, Mich., and bowled an impressive 1,021 (a 204 average) in five games. Although it does not guarantee a spot in next year’s Junior Gold Championship, the score will likely be enough to qualify, she said.
“Next year it will be so much better, and I know it,” White said. White is also excited that next year’s finals are in Las Vegas.
Competing in national tournaments is a “great experience,” she said.
“I made a lot of new friends and saw some of the friends I made last year; I still talk to them to this day.
“I am happy that I had fun. Whatever the outcome, as long as I am happy, then it is OK.”