By Matt Stevens
January 13, 2020

Callum Borck and Chloe Jones are the 2020 National Youth Cup champions after reigning supreme in the two day event at Wyncity Bowl & Entertainment, Point Cook.

The victory for Jones makes her the fourth female in the events 18 year history to win consecutive titles. Jones joins Lexi Nicoll (2009, 2010), Rebecca Whiting (2011 and 2012), and Rebekah Commane (2016 and 2017) in the feat.

“Starting the year off with a win was always the goal. It feels bloody incredible to have achieved it, and it’s even better being able to join history alongside three other women by going back to back” an exited Jones explained.

The 18th running of the event kicked off on Saturday morning with six games of qualifying on the agenda for the 93 registered participants. A 40 foot pattern was laid for the event at the Wyncity venue who hosted the event for the second year in a row.

“The pattern was tough!” said Jones. “This was one of the tougher patterns we’ve faced in this event over the years, but in saying that it was good to see people having to try and keep grinding, rather than it just becoming a carry fest”.

The female division saw Singapore Sports School (SSS) athlete Althea Dang lead the way at the conclusion of day one. The Singaporean would average 190.8 over six with a high game of 237 in the sixth. Queenslander Kylie Bailey sat in second place averaging 186 and Tasmanian Sarah Pennicott placed third averaging 185.2.

Jones would finish in seventh place after day one. “It was a little crushing” said Jones. “I knew I hadn’t made good shots, but I was only roughly 50 pins off the lead”. A ‘debrief’ at the hotel helped find a solution to improve for day two.

“I was using the wrong ball and playing a line that was far too tight resulting in next to no room for error” explained Jones.  The debrief resulted in agreeing to try a 3000 surface on a slightly weaker ball in the hopes of a smoother roll and good reaction on the pin deck. “It worked thank goodness!” a relieved Jones admitted. “It was a bit of a gamble as I was playing a little bit left on most of the lanes, but I’m not complaining about it now”.

Wyncity Bowl & Entertainment, Point Cook

Victorian Daniel Perrella led the way for the boys on day one averaging 215.2 over six and a high game of 256 in the fifth. Jake Mitchell from NSW would sit closely behind in second place averaging 213.2 and Bernie Grueso Jnr in third place averaging 206.8.

Borck would sit in 10th place after day one but the talented bowler kept it in perspective and didn’t panic. Borck who is a black belt in the martial art of Karate, uses the art to keep his body and mind in balance. A key requirement in bowling. 

“The martial arts taught me the importance of taking small steps each day towards the goal” explained Borck in reply to what has helped him most in Karate with his bowling.

“After day one I felt I had a good look with my purple hammer and I just needed to execute my shots at a higher level” explained Borck. “I was able to learn about how the lane transitioned and was able to make some better adjustments throughout day two”.

The agenda for day two involved bowling another six games with the aim to make the top 15 cut to qualify for the matchplay finals.  

At the end of qualifying, Bernie Grueso Jr would be the leader for the boys finishing with a 2,499 pinfall after 12. George Yin from SSS would move two spots to second place after an impressive stretch from game two to five of 200+ games. Callum Borck would activate his climb by jumping to third place finishing with 2,456 in qualifying.

South Australian Jamie Phelan shot up the leader board to lead the female division shooting 105 pins better than day one and finishing with a total of 2,213 over 12. Bailey would remain steady in second place whilst Emily Johnston shot up to third. Chloe Jones positioned herself nicely in fourth place.

The top 15 was settled and the three way matchplay finals was ready to take place to find our first winners of 2020. 

Emma Stephens made a last ditch effort to climb the leader board moving from 15th to 5th winning a bonus of 100 pins throughout matchplay. Her New South Wales team mate Emily Johnston would also remain in the hunt throughout the seven matches. Johnston would take the lead after the fifth game but games of 173 and 145 in the last two games left the door open for others to pounce. Queenslander Ivy Dickinson would win bronze with 3,548 and day 1 leader Althea Dang the silver medal with 3,574.

It was the defending champion in Chloe Jones that timed her run perfectly.

L-R : Althea Dang, Chloe Jones and Ivy Dickinson

Sitting in third place after four, the 2019 number one youth ranked bowler would bowl scores of 204, 194 and 219 to snatch victory from challengers. A total pinfall for the event of 3,652 for Jones, a difference of 172 pins from her 2019 victory.

“The event itself was a grind” said Jones. “Having been in nerve wracking situations like that before, and knowing I needed to perform, I felt quite comfortable in the fact that I would probably be able to do so as long as I zoned in and focused on myself. I take my hat off to everyone else in the finals, it was close all day and really did come down to the last game”.

The host centre Wyncity Bowl & Entertainment, Point Cook has become a happy hunting ground for Jones in recent times. In 2019 Jones had success at the venue winning both the 2019 National Youth Cup and 2019 Werribee Youth Cup. That run has continued into 2020.

“The condition of the lanes and the approaches, really just the whole place, is second to none” stated Jones. “I always look forward to coming to this bowl, it’s just state of the art really”.

2020 marks six years of being part of the National Youth Championship festivities with her Queensland team.

“It’s been quite a journey and I am quite sad it’s all coming to an end” admitted Jones. “Youth Nationals is the event I always look forward to because of the format and the atmosphere. There’s so many medals up for grabs as well so you can create new goals each day and walk in with a different mental game/ plan depending on which event it is”.

The boy’s matchplay began with the defending champion Jordan Dinham looming large by slowly climbing the ladder. Dinham would remain in contention all weekend finishing in 8th place after day 1, 5th place at conclusion of qualifying and then winning 110 bonus points in matchplay to ultimately finish in third place. George Yin from Singapore would finish with the silver medal and the highest game score of 278 in the event.

L-R: George Yin, Callum Borck & Jordan Dinham

None were any match for Callum Borck who caught fire in the matchplay finals. The right hander from Western Australia would win 130 bonus points which involved six out of seven 1st placings. An impressive average of 223.57 throughout the seven games.

“The key for success was in the way I attacked the lanes. I chose to play the lane straighter than most and keep my angles tight” explained Borck. “This allowed me to be more consistent with my scoring and limit my low games. All I needed to do was execute my shots and make my spares”.

The performance handing Borck with his first Tenpin Bowling Australia title.

“It feels great to start off the year with a win” Borck said. “I have been feeling like I was bowling really well for the back of last year and it’s good to some results”.

Borck had a busy 2019 with two Australian team appearances in the Asian Youth Championship in Malaysia and also selected for the Australian Asian Adult Championship team that competed in Kuwait.

Borck also ran up the frequent flyer points in 2019 competing in many international tournaments such as the Malaysian Open, Philippines Open, Singapore Open, Hong Kong open, Macau Open, Thailand Open, Kuwait Open, Milo under 22 all-stars and Penang Pesta International Open. An example of the dedication that Borck applies to the game of bowling. The dedication and time invested providing key learnings moving forward.

“From the experiences in 2019 I was able to understand the importance of being versatile and being patient in tournaments. I also gained a deeper understanding of lane play and scoring pace in a tournament” explained Borck.

As with all ambitious bowlers, goals for the year are fresh in the mind at the start of a new year. On the mind for both bowlers is Australian representation. With exciting events scheduled for 2020 such as the Asian Adult Championships in July at Hong Kong and World Youth Championships during September in Las Vegas, USA, both bowlers are keen to don the green and gold once again.

“There are multiple Australian representative opportunities this year and I would definitely love to be a part of as many as I can” explained Borck.  “World Youth 2020. This has been the goal since I got home from worlds in 2018” explained Jones.

“I’ve been putting in a lot of lane time recently,  as well as a lot of time off the lanes focusing not only on physical things such as time in the gym, but also looking into the technical side of the game. Gathering more knowledge about our sport is the key” explained Jones.

The full results of the 2020 National Youth Cup can be found here

The National Youth Championships turns its attention to the National Youth Team Challenge which starts on Tuesday. For all information regarding the Youth Team Challenge click here

The next nationally ranked youth event returns to Wyncity Bowl & Entertainment, Point Cook on the 29th February when the Werribee Youth Cup takes place. For more information of this event click here