Junior Bowling Champions

Tyra Merritt started bowling competitively at the age of 9. She has been brought up in a bowling center her whole life due to the fact that her Dad has been employed at Pin Chasers Midtown in Tampa, Florida for the past 15 years.

In addition to being a 3-year letterman in high school bowling, Tyra is a 2-year letterman in the sport of softball and basketball. Tyra’s overall athleticism is her biggest asset in the sport of bowling. She has all the key factors such as timing, rhythm and power. Tyra is looking forward to the upcoming Junior Gold event and Youth Open in Chicago to increase her position in the standings and qualify for Junior Team USA.

Tyra’s long-term goal is to get accepted in a college that has a bowling program and pursue a double-major in psychology and criminal justice. Tyra is currently a senior, class of 2016, and attends Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High school located in Tampa, FL. Her current grade point average is 3.67. She has taken many advanced placement courses which include: AP human geography, AP World History, and AP Language arts and composition and in her freshmen year she was inducted in the National Jr. Honor society.

Her freshmen, sophomore, and junior years of high school she was a part of the Bayshore Christian School bowling team and was team captain her sophomore and Junior year. In her junior year she was elected as classroom representative at Bayshore Christian School.

Tyra has worked with many organizations where she volunteered her time to the community. She has done most of her work helping out the youth at the Rocky Bottom Blind Camp located in Sunset, South Carolina, and she has also done some work with metropolitan ministries during the holidays.

Tyra loves to practice and compete in both league and tournaments both locally and state-wide. She has been a part of many regular and sport shot leagues around the Tampa area. She was a part of the Tampa Youth Travel League for two seasons where she averaged 186 in the 2012 – 2013 season and 199 In the 2013 – 2014 season. Tyra’s sport shot leagues include: the Jr Gold Sport shot league at Brandon Crossroads Bowling center for three seasons where she averaged 163 in the 2012 – 2013 season, 170 in the 2013-2014 season, and 176 in the 2014-2015 season, also Jr. Gold sport shot league at Pin Chasers Midtown where she averaged 194 in the 2014 – 2015 season.

Tyra, along with the many leagues, has competed in many tournaments throughout her bowling career. These tournaments include: The USBC National Youth Open in 2014 in Buffalo, NY where she placed 5th in singles and 2nd in doubles on a modified house shot pattern, she also bowled in the Florida Junior Bowlers Tour in March 2015 where she placed 2nd on the WTBA sport shot pattern Mexico City (45’) where she averaged 200+, Tampa Youth City Tournament in 2012 she placed 1st in all events, 1st in singles, and 1st in team event on a modified house shot, Annual Florida High school Championships in 2013 she placed 1st and was named 10th grade champion and averaged 190 on modified house shot pattern.

Tyra has been very successful throughout her high school bowling career she has currently been named Florida High School Athletic Association Champion for district 5 for 3 consecutive years and also the highest averaging girl in district 5. In her freshmen year she averaged 207, her high game was 232, and her high series was 648. In her sophomore year she averaged 216, her high game was 257, and her high series was 676. In her junior year she averaged 224, her high game was 279, and her high series was 712.

Tyra has just recently been selected by Bright House Sports Network as “High School girls bowling athlete of the year”. Where she was honored with a medal and awarded for all the hard work, determination, and practice she has put in to bowling, the sport that she loves.



Bowling has always been a big part of Lucy Sandelin’s life. Even though she rolled her first ball down the lane at the age of six, she has never grown tired of the sport. Lucy was a ten-time member of TEAM USA (U.S. National Bowling Team) and a two-time member of Senior TEAM USA. Lucy came onto the international bowling scene at the young age of 19 when she won the 1976 AMF Bowling World Cup, becoming the FIRST American woman to win this coveted title. The USBC has honored Lucy by placing the ball she used to win the AMF Bowling World Cup into the satellite Bowling Hall of Fame located inside the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada. During Lucy’s 10 years representing TEAM USA she has competed on every continent represented by the Olympic Rings.

Ben Hardin

Bowling Leagues:                                                                                             Current Average:

USBC Youth League                        2009 – 2014                                         225         House Patterns

High School                                         2012 – 2015                                         228         House Patterns

Junior Gold League                         2011 – 2015                                         198         Sport Patterns

Tampa Youth Travel League        2011 – 2015                                         219         House Patterns


Bowling Accomplishments:

800 series – Nov 1, 2014

Brighthouse Male Bowler of the Year – 2015

2015 Bowler of the Year – Tampa Travel League



USBC Junior Gold – Placed 15th in U15 division – 2013

Teen Masters – Finished 13th– 2015

Teen Masters – Finished 19th – 2014

Collegiate Masters – Finished 10th – 2015

USBC Team USA Trials – Finished 79th in 2014

Pepsi Youth Tournament – Finished 8th in 2014

FHSAA – Finished 8th in 2014

3rd Time Tampa City Tournament Champion

4th Time Southwest Florida Classic Champion


Other Interests:

Tai Kwon Do – 2008 Black Belt

National League of Junior Cotillion – Assistant


Personal: I have found my passion in bowling. I enjoy the challenge of competition and continually strive to improve my skills. I am interested in pursuing a business degree and would like to apply it in some form within the bowling industry. I am committed to staying focused on my high school education to prepare myself for college. I would welcome the opportunity to bowl for my college and to be able to strengthen my skills and share my knowledge, energy and passion for bowling with my team.

WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s