Jillian Martin, Spencer Robarge Win Inaugural PBA Jr. National Championship Titles
Jupiter, Fla.—Jillian Martin and Spencer Robarge became the first PBA Jr. National Champions, each earning $7,500 in SMART Scholarships along with their titles. Martin won the girls division with a victory over Victoria Varano and Robarge defeated Nate Purches to win the boys division.
After 16-year-old Varano finished with a 246 game, Martin, also 16, needed two strikes in the 10th frame to win the girls division. Martin rolled all three strikes, giving her six in a row to finish with a 257 game and the title.
Martin, who finished second in the 2021 PWBA ITRC Classic in January, was the No. 2 seed after 10 games of match play, then defeated Alyssa Ballard to earn a spot in the televised finals against top-seeded Varano.
In the boys division title match, No. 1 seed Robarge, 18, posted a 227 game that held up when 17-year-old Purches, needing to fill 21 pins in the 10th frame, left the 4-7 on his first shot.
Following the PBA Jr. National Championship victories by Martin and Robarge, Purches teamed with Kyle Troup to win the Pro/Jr. Doubles Championship, combining to roll the first eight strikes in the title match before Purches left a 10 pin in the ninth frame.
Troup and Purches defeated Clara Guerrero and Martin in the championship match. In a five-frame semifinal match, Troup and Purches beat Jesper Svensson and Robarge by two pins, 98-96. Guerrero and Martin were one shot away from five-frame perfection, rolling 148 to eliminate Danielle McEwan and Varano.
The PBA Jr. National Championship began in September of 2020 with youth bowlers competing in five regions around the United States. The top 20 bowlers (two boys and two girls from each region) advanced to match play, held Feb. 20 in Jupiter, Fla. After 10 games of match play, the top seeds from each division (Robarge and Varano) advanced to the televised finals. Their opponents, Purches and Martin, advanced to the finals through a modified stepladder following match play.
PBA Jr. National Championship Match Scores
Bowlero Jupiter – Jupiter, Fla.
Girls Division – No. 2 Martin def. No. 1 Varano, 257-246
Boys Division – No. 1 Robarge def. No. 2 Purches, 227-214
Pro/Jr. Doubles Championship Match Scores
Semifinal 1 – Guerrero/Martin def. McEwan/Varano, 148-87 (five-frame match)
Semifinal 2 – Troup/Purches def. Svensson/Robarge, 98-96 (five-frame match)
Championship – Troup/Purches def. Guerrero/Martin, 268-197
About the PBA
The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is the world’s preeminent organization dedicated to the sport of bowling and its professional competition, with thousands of members and millions of fans throughout the world. The PBA plays host to bowling’s biggest tournaments from the PBA Tour, PBA Regional Tour, and PBA50 Tour. In 2020, the PBA launched PBA Jr., a club for elite youth bowlers under the age of 17 and the PBA Pinsiders, a membership for fans of the sport. For more information, please visit PBA.com.