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Youth Challenge Preview

Friday, January 08, 2016

The National Youth Challenge will begin on Tuesday with 10 teams competing for the overall combined shield.

In 2015, Victoria claimed the combined overall shield with a dominating display and they look strong again in 2016. The 2016 Victorian boys’ team includes talented bowlers Sam Curry, Matt Drummond, Elliott Batiste and Brandon Richards. In this event in 2015, Curry won the singles, claimed gold in the doubles with Elliott Batiste and finished 2nd in the all events. The Victorian boys team also claimed 1st place in the teams challenge and 1st in the overall points.

In 2016, the Victorian girls will have an almost identical team to 2015. The team includes Rebekah Commane, Emily Cross, Emily Rigney, and Nicola McColl. McColl will be the only new member in 2016. In last year’s challenge the team finished 2nd overall to Singapore and claimed silver in the team’s event. In the doubles the pairing of Rebekah Commane and Emily Rigney claimed the gold medal with Emily Cross claiming bronze in the all events.

With plenty of talent in both teams Victoria be will ones to watch over the 3 days.
However, could 2016 be the year for New South Wales with both teams boasting plenty of talent? The boys’ team will include two current National Training Squad (NTS) members in Michael Murray and Jayden Panella and experienced bowlers Christopher Smith and Mitchell Brown. Both Smith and Brown were both members of the team in 2015 that claimed bronze in the team’s event.

The NSW girls’ team is also full of talent. Grafton bowler Shanita Clark represented Australia at the Asian Schools Championship in 2015 and is joined in the team by current NTS squad member Alexia Hicks. Amy Toonen and Emily Johnston will also add plenty of experience to the team.

With a finish of 3rd overall in 2015 Queensland will be looking to improve in 2016. The boy’s team has loads of skill and includes Jamie Baddeley and current NTS squad members Jayden Leming, Jarrod Langford and Blayne Fletcher.

In the girls team there is also plenty of representative experience with current NTS squad member Gena Ott and Australian Asian Schools representative Vicki Canfield headlining the team. Jasmine Mason and Ashleigh Caldwell will also add skill on the lanes. The Queenslanders will be tough to beat.

The Tasmanians have assembled a competitive team with current NTS squad member Nick Flannery bowling for them in 2016. Dylan Kingshott was a member of the team in 2015 and will know what it takes to do well. Alexander Parsons and Daniel Walters are two bowlers on the rise and will be looking to do well over the 3 days.  

The Tasmanian girls’ team have recruited well with Australian representative and current NTS member Emma Williamson bowling for Tasmania. Williamson will be joined by fellow NTS member Abby Heidemann. Corrina Upston will know what it’s like to compete at this tournament having represented Tasmania in 2015 and Casey Collins will add plenty of value to the team.

But could it be the year the shield goes to Western Australia? The Western Australian team will make the long journey across to Melbourne with a talented team. The boy’s team of Adam Svensson, Cameron Johnston, Braidyn Nelson and Christopher Acquarola competed in this event in 2015 with Svensson and Johnston claiming the bronze in the doubles. Svensson is a current NTS squad member and has represented Australia at the Asian Youth Championships in 2015.

The girl’s team also has experience at this level with Melanie Birch-Williams and Siarn Ottaviano competing in this event in 2015. Emily McKellar and Krystal Dore will be strong at this level. The Western Australians will be looking to produce a few upsets over the 3 days.

After a year out of the challenge the Northern Territory are back in 2016. Both NT teams will be looking to gain some experience at this level and could surprise on the lanes. With Zachary Marks, Joshua Turner, Cameron Maher, Jaime Maglieri, Eryn Cubillo and Ashley Maher all representing the NT at the Junior Nationals in past years. Kyle Townsend and Samantha Edstrom will ensure both teams are competitive.

The ACT will challenge the other team’s right till the end and will surprise many. The boys’ team has plenty of experience with Taylor Jones and Jordan Wallace. Jacky Shiao and Bradley Wayling will be looking to impress at this level. In the girls team Janet Hunt will be one to watch. Hunt is a current NTS bowler who competed in this event last year. Dakota Howard also returns for another year with Zoe Trungove and Kylie Bailey will add plenty of skill to the team.

For the South Australian, Adam Sims and Cameron Lake competed in this event in 2015 and with the addition of current NTS bowler Jake Otago and Alex Kiesau the South Australians will be extremely competitive.

In the girls team Alana Heaft will add valuable experience having bowled for Australia at the Asian Schools Championships last year. Grace Perry, Emily Rowland and Brittany Wood team have been in South Australia’s development program and will have plenty of knowledge and skills on the lanes.

The New Zealanders will be wanting to perform well against the Australian’s. In the boys team Josh Stretton will be a one to keep an eye on. In 2015, he competed in the Queensland Junior Cup and bowled his first 300 game. Lance Barns, Hanz Osa and Leon Fox will rise when representing their country. In the girls team Shinae King will bring plenty of experience to the team having represented New Zealand in the 2014 and 2015 Rachuig and will lead the up and coming bowlers of Dayna Haylock, Jess Swain and Chelsie Parsons.

But the ones to keep a close eye on over the 3 days could be the Singaporeans. In the boys team Han Qin Oh placed 2nd in the Singapore under 21 national age group in 2015 and put in a strong performance at the recent Milo International. Jarred Lim competed in the challenge in 2015 and has plenty of class and Xavier Teo and Aiden Poh will be strong.  

In the girls team Charmaine Chang will be one to watch. Chang performed well in the Milo International and claimed a bronze medal at the 2015 Asian Schools tournament. Amabel Chua bowled in the challenge in 2015 and Jermaine Seah and Jean Tow will have plenty of talent.  

To keep up to date with the live results keep an eye on Tenpin Results, and TBA’s Facebook and Twitter pages.  The official hashtag for the tournament will #AUSYC16

Or why not check out all the live action at Wyncity Bowl & Entertainment, 36 Wallace Avenue, Point Cook, Melbourne.