HONG KONG (8/11/14) – Arkansas State bowler Sarah Lokker teamed up with Liz Kuhlkin to win the doubles gold medal Monday at the 2014 World Youth Championships being held at the South China Athletic Association Bowling Center in Hong Kong.
Lokker and Kuhlkin defeated the pair from Japan in a dramatic 370-361 victory after Kuhlkin bowled a 10th frame strike that Japan couldn’t match. Lokker converted a ninth-frame washout to even the score heading into the final frame, but Japan held a one-pin advantage before Kuhlkin’s strike clinched the gold medal for Junior Team USA.
“This is such a huge accomplishment for Sarah and I couldn’t be happier for her,” A-State women’s bowling coach Justin Kostick said. “She’s been instrumental for our program and just keeps proving that she’s one of the top bowlers, not only in the country, but in the world.”
Lokker and Kuhlkin narrowly advanced to the championship match after defeating Indonesia 354-350 in the semifinals. Lokker has also competed in singles play and finished fourth in her flight with a 196.17 average, but didn’t advance to the semifinals.
The 2014 WYC field includes 262 bowlers from 46 countries, competing in singles, doubles, team, all-events and match-play Masters. Competition continues Tuesday with the start of the team event, which will be a test of versatility, using both the Mexico City and 35-foot Beijing oil patterns over two days.
Lokker is coming off a record-setting season for the Red Wolves where she became the first A-State player to win the National Tenpin Coaches Association (NTCA) Division I Player of the Year award and earned First-Team NTCA All-American honors after being named to the second-team as a sophomore and third-team as freshman. She set school records in both all-tournament selections (six) and tournament MVP’s (four). She finished the season with an average pinfall of 215.833.The Red Wolves finished the 2013-14 season with a 98-32 record and fifth-place finish at the NCAA Tournament.