Congratulations to Ellieh Bowman and Nicholas Rajkovic, who have claimed the first national youth division ranked event titles in 2023 after completing the Wyncity Youth Cup at Wyncity Keon Park in Victoria over the weekend.
Always an exciting time of the year, the first youth event sees many of the previous year’s aged-out juniors debut in the youth division competition. One of those bowlers is the bowler who came away with the female title.
Introducing Ellieh Bowman, pronounced ‘Ellie”.
Ellieh bowls at Townsville Tenpin in the North of Queensland. Yet to collect any ranking points in her career, Bowman stole the show at the first youth-ranked event of the year by storming home on the last day to claim her first national title. Finishing in 16th position at the Australian Junior Masters in 2022, Bowman will be one to watch in the new season with intentions to bowl more events.
“I wanted to get myself out there a bit more this year, I want to focus on bowling a bit more as I have just finished my junior year and I want to put myself out there more,” explained Bowman.
“I didn’t get mad about any misses or splits that I threw, I just remained calm which is not always the case with me which makes myself the biggest challenge I come across sometimes – dealing with the mental game.
“To help with this, I talk to the people who I know and know my game to help get through to me like my friend Luke Doyle. They know what to say to make me ok,” added Bowman.
For the boys, the hard-working Nicholas Rajkovic claimed his first youth title after a tight tussle with fellow Victorian Seth Gray. Amazingly, even when he has participated in events for many years, Nicholas is still a junior-aged bowler but following a blistering 2022 saw Rajkovic finish fourth on the junior rankings and fifth in the youth. A standout at the Australian tour of New Zealand after winning multiple medals, Rajkovic looks set to further engrain himself in the upper echelon of bowlers in both the youth and junior divisions in 2023.
“It’s a great tournament at a great centre with great staff, like Warren Stewart, who I admire a lot” explained Rajkovic.
“It was so close throughout the event that at no point over the weekend did I think I had it in the bag, I needed to maintain my focus, knowing anyone could jump over anyone at any time.
“I’ve been bowling this event for two years now since it moved to Keon Park, and I am so happy to win the title” added Rajkovic.
The first stage would see the 51 bowlers complete 12 games to finish in the top 12 of their gender to advance to day two.
Averaging 182.7 over her first stage twelve games (2,192), Bowman would finish in fourth place at the end of the stage and qualify for the top 12 to advance to day two. Leading the females into day two was Victorian duo of Amelie Perrin-Nitschke (2,291) and Lilly Loats (2,236). In third place was the ever-reliable Tasmanian Bridget Perkins (2,209).
Nicholas Rajkovic would burst out of the blocks with an impressive 1,390 over his first six games. However, Rajkovic would slide one spot after completing his second appearance of six games (1,249) and finish in second place at the end of day one with 2,639 pins. The person to overtake him would be Ben Pettit. The New Zealander averaged 221.2 in the second six games (1,378) to finish on a total of 2,654 to hold a 15-pin advantage leading to day two. Victorian, Cooper Hillyer would finish in the third position posting 2,576.
With pinfall carried over, the top 12 bowlers from each gender returned on Sunday to commence stage two, involving five more games to cut the field to the final six to bowl stage three.
Amelie Perrin-Nitschke would maintain her top spot leading to the last stage after adding 941 to her first-day pinfall. Bridget Perkins (934) would advance to the second position, Bowman (932) to third, and Loats (833) slid slightly to fourth after a tough block. Queenslander Hannah Clark (901) and Tasmanian Jasmine Walker (909) would finish as fifth and sixth, respectively.
Rajkovic would return to the top spot for the boys after an impressive 1,056 block of five games (3,695). Sitting fourth after day one, Victorian Seth Gray would move up to the second spot after posting an incredible 1,104 on the stage to sit only 23 pins behind the leader (3,672). Ben Pettit would sit in third place (3,610), Cooper Hillyer in fourth (3,536), Brayden Warren in fifth (3,527), and Justin Dinham in the final spot for the finals with 3,469.
The ever-important bonus pins were introduced for stage three, with 30 points awarded for a win and 15 for a tie. Bowlers would finish their campaign with five additional matchplay games to crown the champions.
For the girls, Bowman fired with four of her five matches eclipsing scores of 200+, which gained her three of five wins in the final stage to nab the title from the grips of Perrin-Nitschke. Finishing on a total of 4,287 (bonus pins included), Bowman would win her first title by 40 pins.
In second place was the impressive Amelie Perrin-Nitschke, who finished on 4,247, and in third place, Queenslander Hannah Clark finished strongly to claim the last spot on the podium with 4,124.
For the winner, the victory has helped formulate future goals for the young rising star.
“My lifetime goal is to represent Australia, but I know that I need to focus on making sure I keep my head in the game and not getting too worried about mistakes or downfalls that happen throughout an event,” explained Bowman. “I need to believe in myself more and if there is a tip for juniors out there, it’s to do that, and to remember that one low game isn’t worth getting upset about as you have many more opportunities to make up for it”.
For the boys, the positions would remain the same after stage two in a tense finish that saw the outcome decided within the last three frames. Rajkovic would win four of five of his matchplay games to finish on a total pinfall of 4,828 to claim the title, Seth Gray in second spot 47 pins behind with 4,781 and Ben Pettit in third with 4,644.
Like Ellieh Bowman, Nicholas has had to work hard on his mental game to start having the success he is experiencing and is focused on small goals to live out his dreams.
“I used to be a bit of a hot head and crack it most of the time when mistakes would happen,” explained Rajkovic.
“I have matured a lot on the lanes and can now cool myself down and not easily get out of control.
“My immediate goal is to podium at the Queensland Junior Cup and also make the cut at the Australian Open for the first time. I have goals to travel to the United States to bowl in the PBA, go to college like many have recently, and bowl a few Asian-based tournaments” added Rajkovic.
Congratulations to Noah Rajkovic who is the brother of Nicholas, who was awarded the prize for the highest junior who bowled the most over their average who was outside the cut.
Tenpin Bowling Australia wishes to congratulate the champions Ellieh Bowman and Nicholas Rajkavoc, and all the bowlers who participated in this year’s event.
The Sydney Youth Cup is the next stop on the youth division ranked event calendar. The popular event will be hosted at Tenpin City, Lidcombe, New South Wales, on the 20-21 May 2023. Click here to find out all the information as it is released publicly.
- Total pinfall: 4,287 (22 games)
- Average: 190.8
- High Game: 245
- Game scores –
- Stage 1 – 171, 198, 204, 180, 182, 172, 209, 140, 176, 179, 203, 178
- Stage 2 – 189, 172, 180, 216, 175
- Stage 3 – 203, 245 +30, 227 +30, 179, 219 +30
- Total pinfall: 4,828 (22 games)
- Average: 214
- High Game: 267
- Game scores
- Stage 1 – 225, 195, 241, 224, 238, 267, 223, 261, 195, 180, 146, 244
- Stage 2 – 228, 226, 210, 217, 175
- Stage 3 – 254 +30, 224 +30, 199 +30, 160, 176 +30
- Derrick Yau- 278
- Ben Petitt- 275
- Amelie Perrin-Nitschke – 254
Top 10 Female Youth Division
- Ellieh Bowman – 4,287
- Amelie Perrin-Nitschke – 4,247
- Hannah Clark – 4,124
- Bridget Perkins – 4,084
- Lily Loats – 4,041
- Jasmine Walker – 3,893
- Brooklyn Brooks – 3,048 (7-10 – eliminated after stage 2)
- Sophie Jones – 3,041
- Emily Hart – 2,993
- Simone La Vars – 2,978
Top 10 Male Youth Division
- Nicholas Rajkovic – 4,828
- Seth Gray – 4,781
- Ben Pettit – 4,644
- Justin Dinham – 4,551
- Brayden Warren – 4,520
- Cooper Hillyer – 4,494
- Jamie Robinson – 3,448 (7-10- eliminated after stage 2)
- Liam Cochrane – 3,428
- Luke Doyle – 3,388
- Jordan Harrold – 3,385
The National Rankings for the youth division and all other completed 2023 ranked events will be updated shortly and available on the national rankings page.