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Two York teenagers earn berths in USA Bowling National Championship in Detroit

Two York teenage bowlers, Max Minnich, left, and Maribeth Baker, will compete in the USA Bowling National Championship in Detroit on July 11-12.
  • Two York teens have earned berths in a national bowling tournament.
  • Max Minnich, 14, and Maribeth Baker, 13, are part of the Phantom Strikers team.
  • The Strikers will compete in the USA Bowling National Championship in Detroit.

Two York teenage bowlers, Max Minnich, 14, and Maribeth Baker, 13, are looking forward to competing in the USA Bowling National Championship in Detroit, on July 11-12.

The teens, who compete in the junior league at Colony Park North, advanced to the national tournament by being members of the winning under-age-15 team at the USA Bowling Atlantic East Regional Tournament, held in Louisville, on March 15-16.

Minnich and Baker, along with bowlers from Maryland, New Jersey and Tennessee, comprised Phantom Strikers, a five-person team.

The Phantom Strikers were seeded fourth after eight games of qualifying, using the Baker team format. Under the format, the first bowler rolls frames 1 and 6, the second bowler rolls frames 2 and 7 and so forth. 

The second day consisted of a double-elimination Baker-format match-play brackets with the best 2 of 3 needed to win. The Phantom Strikers rolled 15 games on the second day en route to victory.

"It was an amazing experience," said Baker, who averaged 175 last season. "We bowled well as a team and everyone worked together."

"Advancing to the nationals was unbelievable," said Minnich, who rolled a 300 game and posted a 193 average last season. "We had limited experience with the Baker team format, but it didn't take long to get comfortable with it."

Sixteen teams from across the United States will compete in the national tournament this summer. The championship match between the top two teams will be taped on July 19 and be televised nationally at a later date.

The national tournament will be held before the Junior Gold Championships, July 13-20, in Detroit.

Minnich and Baker plan to roll a lot of practice games before the national tournament.

"I'll be working on my accuracy and picking up 10-pins," said Minnich. "I missed a few spares in the regional tournament, but I learned not to get down on myself when I miss a shot because my teammates will pick me up."

Baker confessed she also missed a couple spares during the regional tournament.

"I'll be working hard on improving my spare shooting," she said.

This story was provided through the York Area Bowling Proprietors Association. Reach Barry Sparks at sports@yorkdispatch.com.