SAN DIEGO, CA — Set it up, and Katelyn Abigania will knock them down.
For the past two years, the 12-year-old from San Diego has been rolling along, gaining national attention after winning the Junior Gold National Championship — not just once, but twice.
Last week, she made history as the first girl to win the Junior Gold back-to-back.
“It honestly means the world to me because I’ve been working all my life for that very moment and all the work that I’ve done through the years paid off.”
“Going into the tournament, I felt a bunch of pressure and I wanted to win.”
While it’s just Katelyn, her 14-pound ball, and ten pins, Katelyn isn’t alone in the sport.
4 hours a day, five times a week, she spends it with her older brother Joshua, who’s also an accomplished bowler, winning a regional team championship.
“Josh just pushed Katelyn, and Katelyn is very competitive ad before you know it she’s beating Josh all the time and it’s just an amazing family. And it’s the family that made both Katelyn and Josh who they are,” says their Coach Barry Brown.
The siblings got hooked on the sport about six years ago, watching their dad, a Marine veteran.
“We also wanted to try as well and eventually we went into our own league and really enjoyed it it was a lot of fun, and we just kept at it.”
“I was like why are you throwing a round ball at a bunch of sticks down the lane and I was like it seems fun and when I got that strike, I’m a champion now.”
And as the wins piled up including back to back state titles, racking up thousands in scholarship earnings — at 12 years old she already dreams of turning pro.
“One of the bowling colleges and after that, I want to immediately go pro if that’s still my passion, but I’m pretty sure it will be.”
The Abiganias look to bring their winning ways to Kansas later this month for the Storm Youth championships.
Katelyn’s quest for a three-peat will be a little closer to home.
Next year’s Junior Gold championship will take place in Las Vegas.