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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Four Pacific-area bowlers have qualified for July’s Young American Bowling Alliance’s Pepsi-Cola and Junior Gold national championship tournaments in St. Louis, Far East military zone director Thomas Bruce said.

The group will be led by five-time Far East youth champion Jio Bruce, a Seoul American High School junior, who captured the Pacific’s 12-and-older girls scratch division title.

Joining her is Chris Baker, also of Yongsan, the 12-and-older boys scratch division champion. Representing Okinawa are the Far East’s 12-and-older handicap champions, Daymond LaMarr and Margaret Murphy.

Bruce and Baker move on to the Junior Gold championships July 12-18, while LaMarr and Murphy are entered in the national championships July 21-23.

The four bowlers, as well as 11-and-under handicap winners Steve Brennan and Koyuki Fritchman of Yongsan, receive college scholarships, which will be managed by YABA’s Scholarship Management and Accounting Reports for Tenpins program. They’ll also get a shot at an additional $75,000 in scholarships in St. Louis.

Bruce qualified for the Junior Golds a second straight year by knocking down 1,190 pins in six games. She placed seventh out of 16 finalists last year.

Baker qualified with a 216 average in six games. He tied for the division’s top qualifying spot with 2001 champion Josh Pierson, then won a bowl-off, 225-179. Baker finished 600th out of 706 in last year’s Junior Golds.

In six games at Emery Lanes on Okinawa, LaMarr knocked down 1,377 pins and averaged 229 with handicap, while Murphy collected 1,315 pins for a 219 handicap average.

The bowlers reached the national tournaments through an annual qualifying process on Okinawa and Yongsan.

Using the honor system, Far East youth bowlers submit their scores each year from two qualifying events to Thomas Bruce, who determines the top four.


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