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Teens Strike Out For National Bowling Competition

Three Addison County teens are headed for Indianapolis and the national competition for the United States Bowling Congress.
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Three Addison County teens are headed for Indianapolis and the national competition for the United States Bowling Congress.

Tuesday July 8, 2014

By Cookie Steponaitis

The summer road trip has taken on a new meaning for sophomore Ellie Martin, junior Anissa Martin and senior Tyler Richards. The three Addison County teens have earned the right to compete in the national bowling championships July 11-18 in Buffalo, New York. The event is sponsored by the United States Bowling Congress and brings together the best youth amateur bowlers in the nation for a week long head to head competition and for Ellie this will be her first trip to nationals, but Anissa and Tyler have earned the right in back to back years of Vermont competition.
    “You qualify for nationals,” shared Tyler Richards, “with your finishes in the official qualifying tournaments around the region. You have to take first or second in order to advance. Ellie qualified at a tournament at Spare Time in Colchester in May. I qualified in Malone, New York and Anissa qualified in Plattsburgh, New York.” Ellie is entered in the Youth 12-15 Division and Anissa and Tyler are entered in the Youth 16-20 Division. Each teen can expect to encounter at least 1,000 bowlers in their respective division. At the end of a highly competitive week of bowling the winners not only take home a national title and college scholarships but qualify for a spot on the Youth U.S. National Team. “I met one teen who practiced every day, 365 days a year and he placed third in the whole event” added Tyler. “The most amazing part of the event is not only the competition but the friends made. I not only bowl with teens from Rutland and Bennington but have good friends in Montana, Florida and other states. We really do keep in touch.”
    First time attendee Ellie Martin shared that she is a bit nervous about the event but knows it will help build her self-confidence and place her out of her comfort zone. “I get frustrated with myself easily,” remarked Ellie. “When the shot doesn’t go right I over analyze what I did wrong. This competition will force me to be more in control of not only the ball but me.” Tyler’s mother Becky Lozell sees bowling as more than recreation and a sport for her child. “I have watched them all gain so much confidence that it is just amazing to see.” Both Ellie and Anissas’ moms echoed the same sentiment and added, Bowling  really helps them grow in so many ways.”
    So for all those readers who have thrown a ball down an alley once or twice in their lives and concluded that bowling was not the sport for them, take a lesson from these three local teens who started bowling for fun, push themselves each year just a little farther and showcase Vermont at the national level. “It really is fun first and always will be for me,” concluded Anissa Martin. “I am very competitive but love the fact that it really is a battle of me against me. I beat my own efforts and raise my own scores.” So if you hear what you think might be called ‘rumbling in the Catskills or grumbles in the Green Mountains’ do not blame Mother Nature. It may well be the sounds of pins getting knocked down as they fall to the skills and spirit of these three teens who are spending part of their summer striking others out at the national level.

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