West, Engeron reach advancers stage at Junior Gold bowling

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Dutchtown’s Preston West and Albany’s Caroline Engeron were the only bowlers from Louisiana to advance after four days of qualifying at the Junior Gold Championships that concluded Thursday night in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Twenty-nine bowlers from Louisiana were among the approximately 3,000 competitors in three different age brackets for boys and girls this week.

West, who set a state record for average this spring as a sophomore for the Griffins, averaged 193.8 for 16 games on four different “sport” lane conditions to rank 44th of 630 competitors in the boys U15 division. He bowled five additional games in the first advancers round Friday morning.

The first cut in the U15 boys is to 56 bowlers for the final advancers round later Friday. After five more games, the top 16 will advance to match play finals Friday night and Saturday. West entered Friday 131 pins out of 16th place.

Engeron averaged 177.3 in qualifying to rank 33rd of 307 bowlers in the girls U15 division, safely inside the initial cut to the top 44. After Friday morning’s round, the field will be cut to 28, and again to 16 following the final advancers round.

Top Louisiana finishers in the other brackets included Austin Martin of Ponchatoula, who missed the first cut in the boys U18 division by 14 pins. He averaged 194.8 for 16 games and placed 182nd of 1,208 in his division.

Jayden Hauck, who is headed to Southern University after an outstanding career at Hammond High, was the top finisher in the girls U18 division, finishing 106th among 570 competitors. She averaged 179.3 and was 50 pins shy of advancing.

Aiden Jones of Houma placed 92nd of 227 competitors in the boys U12 division.

Last week, former East Jefferson standout Adam Atkins reached the match play portion of the boys U20 bracket, finishing in a 13th-place tie.

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Lenny Vangilder

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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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