Although Victorya White will travel more than 2,000 miles to compete in the Junior Gold National Bowling Championships July 14-21 in Dallas, she will have a home-court advantage.
White and her parents, Roy and Sharee White, are natives of Texas and many family members still reside in the area. So as White seeks the national title, she will get an extra shot of adrenalin from a supportive hometown crowd.
White, 12, earned a trip to the tournament by winning her division in the Washington United States Bowling Congress Youth Championships sponsored by Pepsi May 19 and 20 at Tacoma’s Pacific Lanes. Not bad for someone who didn’t take bowling seriously until seven months ago.
Not only did she win the state title, but she did it in dominating fashion. She won all eight head-to-head matches in the round-robin format; no other bowler captured more than four. White amassed 2,237 pins during her run, 361 more than her nearest competitor.
White began bowling when she was 4.
“My dad bowls, and I thought it looked cool,” she said.
It wasn’t until last December she decided to put in the time and work necessary to maximize her abilities. She now practices almost every day at Oak Bowl and belongs to several leagues. Her father is her coach.
White said her average is in the 180-190 range with a high game of 268 in practice and 228 in league play.
In the opening match of the local junior league two weeks ago, White rolled a 224, 213, 192 series for a 209 average.
Her goal is to become a professional bowler.
White, who will enter seventh grade at North Whidbey Middle School next fall, said she was nervous going into the state tournament.
It helped that her family was there to support her, she said.
“I was shook up, really scared,” White said. “My mom and dad told me to calm down, relax and have fun. Eventually I worked up to it.”
Her emotions heading to the national tournament touch both ends of the spectrum.
White has seen the qualifying scores of the other competitors and said hers are among the best, which gives her confidence.
“But I am still nervous,” she added. “I want to keep my confidence level up and calm down.”
It will be easier to keep calm, she said, knowing she will be surounded by family in the heart of Texas.