THUNDER BAY – Sports – For the second year in a row, 11-year-old Thunder Bay native Kelsey DeGrazia will be representing Northern Ontario at the 2012 Youth Bowling Canada 5 Pin National Championships. This year’s event is in St. John`s, Newfoundland, May 5 to 7.
DeGrazia, who bowls at Galaxy Lanes, has competed at the Provincials for four years in a row and last year represented Northern Ontario at the Nationals held in Regina – coming in 9th with an average of 157. Kelsey, a grade 5 student at St. Francis School, has a current bowling average of 177 and hopes to become the first Bantam girls national winner from Thunder Bay.
”My children were active in YBC and I know first-hand the value that this sport instills in our young people,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs who met today in his office with Kelsey to present her with a package of Thunder Bay pins and tourist information for her to present to her competitors in St. John`s. “I wish Kelsey and all of the other competitors from Thunder Bay the best as they represent our city and, in fact, all of Northern Ontario this weekend.”
Other Thunder Bay bowlers at this year`s 5 pin National Championships include Junior Cody Gilhooly (a previous Nationals Bantam winner) and the Seniors Girls Team consisting of Ashley Bjorklund, Amanda Melanson, Devan Hook and Bailie Lachaine. All five are from the Superior Bowladrome in Thunder Bay and are also representing Northern Ontario.
2012 has been a winning year for Kelsey DeGrazia. In addition to her bowling accomplishments, her Atom A hockey team – Elks B.E.A.R. Kings – won two tournaments and the B side championship since she won the right to represent Northern Ontario at the YBC National Championships this May.
Kelsey`s first two trips to the Provincials were as part of a Bantam Girls’ team which included her older sister Ashley. The team came back with a silver medal both times.
Kelsey`s next two trips to Provincials, including this year, was as a single Bantam competitor, achieving gold both times and heading on to represent Northern Ontario at the Nationals.
Kelsey’s siblings, Ashley (12) and Nicholas (9) are also competitive bowlers with Galaxy Lanes and YBC. Her DeGrazia cousins have been successful at Provincials and Nationals in the past. Gregory has won both Bantam and Junior National 5 Pin Championships (2001 and 2003 respectively) and was a member of the 2006 Galaxy Lanes team that won the Senior Boys Championship. Evan was a member of the Galaxy Lanes team that won the Bantam championship in 2005 and the Junior Championship in 2006. Joey was part of the 2006 winning Galaxy Lanes Junior Boys team.
There has never been a Bantam Girls national winner from Thunder Bay, although there was one from Sudbury in 1980. A full list of Thunder Bay winners in other categories is attached.