There's a new Canadian champion in town.
Jordan Loewen, 11, won the Youth Bowling Council (YBC) bantam boys national championship, hosted by Regina, last weekend.
Representing Cochrane Lanes and Alberta, Jordan carried a jaw-dropping 232 average after 11 games of round-robin singles play to launch him into the gold medal match. His closest competitor in the round robin from Southern Ontario had an average 50 pins lower going into the playoffs.
Jordan faced Newfoundland's Cody Jacobs in a two-game final, where he only needed to win one game. After a tough 180-157 lost in the first game, his only loss of the championship, he came back with a gutsy performance, pulling out a 181 – 176 victory in the last frame.
He also won a silver medal as part of Alberta's Boys Trio team in a new national championship event that sees each province team up their best bantam, junior and senior bowlers. He carried a 242 average over seven games and bowled two 300 games--343 and 323--the highest of the Alberta team.
Also on Alberta's team was Junior champ Layne King, of Vermillion, and AB Senior champ Bradly Tytgat, of Edmonton. Manitoba won the gold.
Loewen had a large contingency of family cheering him on in Regina as well as the four partners in Cochrane Lanes.
His grandmother, Judy Burge, says it was exciting to watch her grandson bowl at the nationals and how he overcame a little nervousness in the final to win the gold.
Few bantam bowlers, let alone older bowlers, are able to carry an average as high as Loewen and he just keeps getting better, she says.
"He improves all the time and just this last year he's starting to bowl well over 200 most games," she says. "Now he's creeping up to bowling a lot of games over 300. He had two 300 games in the team event. He's quite capable, I'm expecting a 450 (a perfect game) out of him pretty soon. I can see it happening somewhere down the road."
Jordan will be bowling as a junior in the fall and she's confident he'll do just fine.
So does Jordan.
The championship was exciting for Jordan and he says he especially enjoyed bowling plenty of 200-plus games plus a pair of 300-plus. Jordan says it was fun to bowl against every single one of his friends he has made while climbing through the ranks of YBC.
Soon it will be summer and while Jordan looks forward to camping and golfing he also plans to make time to bowl at the Cochrane Lanes.
It's the second consecutive appearance by Loewen at the national championships. Last year in Gatineau, QC, Jordan had an average score of 190 over 22 games to finish fourth.
Cochrane Bowler Making 2nd Consecutive Appearance at Nationals