BY TOM PATERSON, FOR THE STARPHOENIX
Imagine being into your 12th year of bowling at the tender age of 16. Imagine almost having a lock each year in making YBC championships and/or youth challenge championships.
Imagine finding perfection with 12 consecutive strikes, averaging 223 and just completing your fourth consecutive turn at the provincial youth challenge championships. If you can, maybe you already know Ryan Reichert.
Reichert right now is the hottest youth bowler in Saskatchewan, and did not disappoint at this year’s provincial youth challenge championship held in Regina. Reichert’s perfect game happened two weeks ago. This past weekend, his 266 average helped his team capture the boy’s title at the youth challenge provincial. Reichert’s reward will be a trip to the national championship in March.
Joining Reichert will be teammate Jordan Regnier, averaging 265, and Jeremy Beam of Moose Jaw averaging 251. Girls travelling to the national championship include; Melanie Andersen at 256, Willow McLeod at 240, and Cassidy Bayliss at 235.
While Reichert was cleaning up at the youth challenge, so too was most of Saskatoon. The boy’s team with Reichert, Regnier, Ace Van-denheuvel, Breidan Tourond and Dillon Bruynooghe went on cruise control early, accelerating past their nearest rival by just under 500 pins. The boys were coached by Lloyd Wiens.
Silver in the boy’s team event went to Regina, while boy’s team bronze medallists were East Sask.
The girl’s team from Saskatoon uncharacteristically lagged behind the winning Regina team. Saskatoon’s team consisted of McLeod, Sarah Ouellet 223, Kailee Lef-fler 201, Lanna Fertuck 174, and Jessica Penney at 157.
The Regina girls team narrowly eluded the West Sask team by 53 pins or approximately 10 pins per game. Saskatoon finished third.
Of the gold medallists, Saskatoon’s mixed team may have provided the most consistent bowling of the event. Saskatoon won gold on the strength of Grant Dyck 219, Brooklyn Arnold 179, Austin Blais 203, Britney Kristiansen 218, and Brady Arnold 227. The cushion of victory over Regina was 190 pins.