Naujokas Falls Just Short of Junior Gold Finals

Mabel Cummins earns automatic berth on Junior Team USA

by Rod Williamson

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Vanderbilt’s Amanda Naujokas narrowly missed making the Junior Gold’s U20 Final Three stepladder Thursday, falling one game short in the sport’s top junior tournament of the year.

Naujokas, a rising junior at Vanderbilt and a current Junior Team USA member, dropped a two-game total pin fall bracket game with Jaelle Hamman 406-377 after a strong run during the day.  The Long Island native, the No. 12 qualifier who has a lengthy resume of success at this event, defeated Hannah Manetta to begin her day before losing to Madyson Marx in the double-elimination format.

Naujokas came back in the elimination bracket to top Manetta again before being pitted about Commodore teammate Mabel Cummins. Naujokas edged Cummins in a high-scoring contest (443-411) and then avenged her loss to Marx before falling to Jaelle Hamman, 406-377, to end her tournament.

Cummins, who had qualified during the week with the No. 1 seed, beat Cheyenne Washington before losing to Lara Kurt by a single pin, 376-375. Cummins came back to defeat Katelyn Orisek before bowing to Naujokas.

Cummins’ top finish in the three-day qualifying came with an automatic berth on Junior Team USA – the sixth straight year on that team for the Vandy star.

The tournament resumes Monday for younger age groups. Two incoming Vanderbilt freshmen – Alyssa Ballard and Victoria Varano – will be among the large field in the U18 group. carries complete information.