Jacob Reed gets ready to bowl at the 2014 Texas State Youth Bowling Tournament in Houston.

Jen Morgan, Herald

Eight area youth bowlers have qualified for the Junior Gold National Tournament at the Broadway Sports Center in Buffalo, N.Y. on July 12.

Among those eight is Amanda Morgan who will be a junior this fall at Killeen High School.

“While the eight of us won’t all be bowling together, we still are one big group,” Morgan said. “We’ll all be pulling for each other.”

The other seven area bowlers who will be making the trip to Buffalo are Summer Salak, of Nolanville, Killeen residents Dakota Stutz, Samantha Kriner, Heath Fletcher and Jordan Garza and Copperas Cove’s Megan Wehmeier and James Norris.

“Right now, this is all pretty nerve-wracking,” Morgan said. “Basically, my goal is to just make the cutoff, qualify for the top 64.”

No easy task for any participant.

There will be over 2,000 of the top youth bowlers (under age 20) in America visiting Buffalo trying to crack into the top 64, and ultimately medal. Morgan will have to beat out over 300 of those bowlers to advance to the round of 64.

“Last year, I saw a lot of my friends attend this tournament when it was in Detroit,” Morgan said. “So I was determined to qualify for it this year.”

Morgan qualified for Buffalo by virtue of a solid 6-game performance last month in Houston at the Youth Leaders Tournament.

As a sophomore in the 2014 season, Morgan finished second in the Cen-Tex District with a 188 average. She took fifth in the regional tournament and qualified for the State Meet.

“You never stop trying to improve,” Morgan said. “Right now, I’m working on my approach, my timing and focusing on exactly where I’m placing the ball.”

Contact Allan Mandell at amandell@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7566 and read his column at KDHPressbox.com

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