Teen Bowlers On a Roll at Grand Central
GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL — The Dude would approve.
A group of teen bowlers attempted to roll their way to glory amid the hustle and bustle of commuters in Grand Central's Vanderbilt Hall Tuesday.
The 15th Annual Teen Masters Grand Championships, held Tuesday and Wednesday, will offer more than $100,000 total in college scholarships and one the the eight bowling prodigies, four boys and four girls from all over the country.
"The Teen Masters is about mastering sport and mastering life," said Gary Beck, founder of Killer "B" Promotions that created Teen Masters in 1997. It's billed as America's longest running national championship for youth bowlers.
The temporary bowling lane was set up in Grand Central Terminal, under the station's historic chandeliers. In the three-round competition, the boys will play each other once, as will the girls, in the first round. In the second round, the top two boys will play, as will the top girls.
In the final round, the top girl and boy will square off.
Greg Young, 16, of Vierra, Fl., started bowling at the young age of eight, when he joined his grandmother's bowling league.
"It's a mental game," said Young, who said it was challenging to deal with the pressure of playing professionally, as well as technical difficulties such as adjusting to the lanes and not following through.
Kamron Doyle, 14, from Brentwood, Tenn., started bowling after he played the game at a birthday party when he was 6 years old. He practices by playing about 50 games in a week.
"Bowling's my passion," said Doyle, "A lot of people don't know how big bowling is."
They both agreed that it was time, dedication, patience and hardwork that had brought them this far in the sport. Doyle and Young are hoping that scholarships they win from bowling tournaments will carry them into college.
Larry Dunn traveled all the way from Palmdale, CA., to watch his daughter, Ashley, 15, compete. He said that he and his wife have been traveling all summer, escorting Ashley to several different bowling tournaments across the country. Dunn said his daughter started bowling when she was eight and soon began competing and playing regularly.
"She's been earning [scholarships through bowling] since she was eight," said Dunn, who added that while she pursued her bowling career, they planned keeping her focussed on academics.