San Diego Girl Dreams Big, Snags U12 Junior Gold

Katelyn Abigania, an 11-year-old started bowling in 2013, and it quickly became evident that what started as a family outing was going to be much more. By way of youth programs at multiple centers in the San Diego region, Katelyn has spent the last five years training with and learning from great local and national bowling minds. This past summer, all of her hard work has come to fruition.

In July of 2018, 3,832 participants competed at USBC’s Junior Gold Championships in Dallas, TX. Bowlers from seven countries competed in three divisions of tournament play, culminating in televised showcases of the best up-and-coming bowling talent.

Abigania competed in stepladder format against Saphyre Nofuente of Rocklin, CA and 2017 Champion Karina Capron from Fremont, NE, both 12, for the title of Champion. Katelyn and Karina had also battled it out in match play, resulting in a 385-315 final score, a victory for Capron, and the final seed in the championship round for Abigania.

After defeating Nofuente, Abigania struck in four of six opening frames against a struggling Capron, who left splits in both the second and fourth frames. Abigania held onto a 38-pin lead going into the final frames of competition after both bowlers failed to convert spares in the seventh. Needing only seven pins in the tenth frame to close out Capron, Katelyn struck three times, capturing her first Junior Gold title on television.

On winning the championship, Abigania stated “I’m very speechless and emotional, because it’s a big thing.” As she continued to soak in the victory she humbly explained “”I’m trying to keep my tears in, but I feel really happy for myself. I want to thank my family and my coach and my friends for getting me where I am right now.”

The only daughter of Jonathan and Cheralyn Abigania is the middle of three children, Katelyn has an older brother, Joshua 13 years old, who also competed in Junior Gold, as well as a younger brother Jon 6 years old, who already shows signs of following in the footsteps of his siblings. Katelyn also has an evergrowing shelf of awards, having also won first place in the U12 division of the California Pepsi Youth Championships this past May.

Her dedication to the sport of bowling has been inspired by the dedication shown by her father Jonathan during his time serving over 20 years in the United States Marine Corps. Her aspirations for the future – to become a lawyer, a professional bowler in the PWBA, and to compete for Team USA, are indicative of great motivation at an early age, support for her country, and a dedication to the sport she has grown to love.

Katelyn gives special thanks to Mira Mesa Lanes, Admiral Robinson, Sea & Air Lanes, her friends and family for their love and support, as well as her longtime coach Barry Brown that have worked tirelessly to help her improve. She is the first and youngest San Diegan to capture a Junior Gold Championship, and her future is looking brighter than ever.