Kent Cracks into the Top 15

Incoming freshman Natalie Kent is in 11th place after Day One of the USBC Junior Gold Championships

by Rod Williamson

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Vanderbilt incoming freshman Natalie Kent jumped into the top 15 in the huge U18 field of the USBC’s Junior Gold tournament as Monday’s first day of qualifying came to a conclusion.

Kent, a native of Newark, New York, found herself in 11th place in the field of 588 hopefuls after completing four games with an 838 total (+38). Her steady day was highlighted by a 258.

Victoria Varano, a mainstay on Vanderbilt’s national championship team as a freshman last season, was in 41st place after finishing -10.

The only other Vanderbilt-related competitor in the U18 field is incoming freshman Haley Lindley of Greenwood, South Carolina, who is in 99th position after ending her day with two flat games after a solid start.

Lauren Hunter of Smithton, Illinois, led first-day qualifying with a torrid +172, led by a fourth game 276.

The tournament stretches out all week with bowlers seeing different centers in Indianapolis and playing on different oil patterns. As a result, standings often are volatile as one or two exceptional or weak games can be misleading.

Vanderbilt had a pair of representatives in last week’s U20 age group. Alyssa Ballard and Kaylee Hitt both made impressive late runs and reached the 16-woman bracket play before being eliminated.

The competitors are hoping to land roster spots on Junior Team USA for the upcoming year.

Complete tournament information can be found HERE.