Tupelo’s Taylor Russell wins national bowling crown

Taylor Russell is no stranger to dominating in the alleys.

The upcoming sophomore captured the 2013 Junior Gold National Championship for 15 and under youth girls last week. Arriving in Detroit July 12th and coming off of a 5th place finish in the Junior Gold Nationals in Indianapolis in 2012, Russell felt confident about her chances for redemption. Completing 25 games of qualifying Thursday which wrapped up close to midnight, she returned as the 13th seed in Friday’s finals. Match play started at 8 a.m. with a decisive win in Round 1. Unfortunately, Round 2 found Taylor falling into the loser’s bracket. She needed a strong finish in the double elimination to stay alive. Taylor never looked back in the two game sets, and she rolled 18 consecutive games in nine matches with only the one loss. Round 6 was a monumental win against last year’s champion Breanna Clemmer from South Carolina, 397 to 376. Round 9 lead to the title match against undefeated Ashley Channell from Tennessee. Taylor needed to defeat her in back-to-back matches to earn the championship. Winning match #1 373 to 338 lead to the final match with Taylor securing the crown, 370 to 353.

“It’s crazy because I never would have thought I would make it this far,” Taylor said in the USBC release. “It was a very challenging week, but I pushed myself through it.”

Bowl.com featured articles and live streaming of the Junior Gold Matches. Taylor has now shifted focus to the Team USA trials in Las Vegas in January followed by the 2014 Junior Gold Championship that will be held in Buffalo, NY.

Taylor carries a 4.0 GPA, she’s a rotary scholar, honor society member, and  a member of the Tupelo High band. She also loves to sing and has taken vocal lessons and plays the guitar.

Taylor began her career at the age of five. After moving to Tupelo in 2003, she started youth bowling with her older brother upon arrival at Rebelanes. Taylor has competed in three Junior Gold events since age 13. She started bowling the Southern Scratch Junior Bowling Association tour in 2007 when she was 10. She’s bowled varsity for THS since 7th grade.

Here’s a detailed list of her career accomplishments:

2007: Tupelo Prep Bowler of the Year

2008: SSJBA Super Bowl Qualifier in Minor division

2009: SSJBA Super Bowl Qualifier in Minor division

2010: SSJAB 2010 Points Champion in Classic division, placed 5th in Super bowl event in Florida

2011: Nominated for the Pop Star award given to the best high school athlete in each sport while in 7th grade, 1st MHSAA title for THS, Holiday Tournament Singles Champion, 5th place in SSJBA Super Bowl Classics division, Qualified for 2011 Junior Gold Championships in Las Vegas and placed 278 out of 600 in the 20 and under division at age 13.

2012: Winner of the 2012 Mississippi High School Pop Star Award, 5th place finish in Junior Gold National Championships U15 girls, 2012 Georgia Youth Tournament of Champions winner, 2nd MHSAA title for THS,  9th place in SSJBA Super Bowl Classics division.

2013: Winner of the 2013 Mississippi High School Pop Star Award, 2013 Junior Gold National Championship winner U15 girls, 3rd MHSAA title for THS,  9th place in SSJBA Super Bowl Classics division.

Watch a replay of the 2013 North Pointe Junior Gold championship matches here:

 Special thanks to Terry Russell and www.11thframe.com.




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