LEWISTOWN - Bowling may be one of the lesser known sports in the Lewistown area among high school students, but that doesn't stop local students from participating - and even excelling in the sport.
Katie Pecht is one of those kids. She finished in second place in the 2012 Pennsylvania Pepsi Youth Bowling Championship, which took place May 19-20.
Pecht qualified through a local tournament in March, the moved on to the district tournament held in Bellefonte before moving to the state tournament which was held at Dutch 222 Lanes in Lancaster.
Katie Pecht finished second at the 2012 Pennsylvania Pepsi Youth Championships on May 19-20 at Dutch 222 Lanes in Lancaster. Pecht won a $1,200 scholarship.
Pecht shot an average of 148 in the 12 and older girls handicap bracket during the tournament and the second place finish netted Pecht a $1,200 scholarship from the United States Bowling Congress when she goes to college. Her highest score of the weekend was a 201.
Corey Wert, president of the Pennsylvania State Bowling Association, had nothing but good things to say about Pecht's accomplishment.
"The young lady should be honored to be the second place finisher at the state level due to the amount of competition she has progressed through to get there," Wert said. "A scholarship will be awarded to her for her accomplishment and sent to the SMART fund handled by USBC for her later use in college or vocational training after high school."
Each bowler played three games on Saturday afternoon and the top half moved on to play Sunday where another three games determined placement.
Heading into the tournament Pecht didn't have any real expectations except to improve, but was more than happy with the result.
"I wanted to focus on getting to know my mark, cause every mark is different," Pecht said. "I wasn't really focused on where I would finish. I was excited though, I didn't know I was going to come back that much on the second day."
A big reason for Pecht finishing in second was her confidence, which stayed up even as she learned some new techniques from the opposition.
"It was definitely different," Pecht said. "I picked up what other people were doing and it gave me some confidence to stick with my own technique and to trust my instincts, I feel that was a big reason why I played so well."
Pecht has been a participant in Lewistown Lanes' USBC youth league for six years. She was a member of the Lewistown Area High School team and was a member of the inaugural team at Mifflin County High School. She has one more year with the Huskies and hopes to bowl on a college team.
While the Pepsi tournament is not a high school league or event, Pecht knew her season with the Mifflin County bowling team helped her when it came to the tournament.
"The high school season helped a lot," Pecht said. "Getting constant practice and learning different techniques and angles and just getting repetitions."
Pecht does plan on playing in this tournament again next year if she's eligible, but as for the summer you can find her at the local alley enjoying the summer.
"I'm going to be playing in a summer league al Lewistown Lanes and just enjoying the summer."
Six other local bowlers placed in the district tournament: Liam Shelly, Vicky Pecht, Alex Mowery, Kevin Peachey, Greg McDorman and Alex Medley.