CEDAR CITY – Cedar Bowling Center was packed Saturday as the Utah Summer Games youth bowling tournament got under way. Athletes between the ages of 5 and 20 competed in the tournament.
The youth bowling tournament has been a part of the summer games for 13 years, said Kathy Jones, owner of Cedar Bowl and event coordinator.
The Cedar Bowling Center just installed new synthetic lanes just before the Utah Summer Games.
“They’re brand new lanes,” Jones said. “This is the first tournament we’ve done on them.”
Athletes had the option to compete in a number of different categories – singles, doubles and teams. Many participants competed in all three, bowling a total of nine games in one day.
A total of 31 athletes competed in the tournament, which is up from last year, Jones said.
The Reber family, Cedar City locals, came to watch the event and cheer on their son, Hunter.
“Well we’ve heard about it and he has friends who have done it before so we just thought it would be a good experience for him,” said Bruce Reber, Hunter’s dad. “We just love the summer games, we got him involved and he’s having a great time.”
Hunter, age 11, recently joined a local bowling league and had only competed in one other tournament before competing in the Summer Games.
“It’s kind of fun, it’s kind of hard,” Hunter Reber said, “I didn’t know my teams until my mom told me, so it’s kind of fun.”
He has enjoyed competing in the tournament and meeting new people, he said.
Hunter Reber said he did “pretty good.” He found out he did better then pretty good when he and his partner, Kyler Smith, walked away with the gold medal after having won their division in the doubles category.
The Utah Summer Games also gives people from outside the area an opportunity to experience Cedar City.
“I think it’s great for the economy and it’s great for exposure for people to come see what Cedar is about,” Bruce Reber said.
Matt and Aimee Monsen, from Orem, came to Cedar City to watch their 8-year-old son Andrew compete in the tournament. Although Matt has visited Cedar City on various occasions, this was Aimee’s first time to the area.
“It’s a fun bowling opportunity,” Aimee Monsen said. “We love bowling.”
Andrew Monsen especially enjoyed the opportunity to bowl with other people.
“It’s fun because we get to bowl as teams,” he said.
Monsen and his team members, Lorenzo Gonzales, Curtis Woodward and Riley Woodward, won their division in the team event.
Aimee Monson and her kids have been able to enjoy downtown Cedar City and what it has to offer for families.
“I went to (the) library this morning and to the park next to it and I was very impressed with those,” she said. “That library was beautiful. My daughters loved the park. They didn’t want to leave.”
They also enjoyed the scenery, Aimee Monsen said. Her daughters were particularly impressed with the red rock mountains.
The tournament marked the beginning of more than three weeks of competition at the 2014 Utah Summer Games. Basketball, bass fishing and horseshoes also kicked off on Friday’s inaugural day of the Games, which run through Jun. 29, excluding Sundays. More than 32 different events will be contested over the 24 days, including crowd-pleasers like soccer, rugby and track and field, as well as eclectic events such as Tae Kwon Do, pickleball, arm wrestling and Ultimate Frisbee.
There are seven different sports being contested Saturday. The Games take Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off, then resume Wednesday with more bowling, equestrian, pistol shooting and youth soccer.
For more information on the Utah Summer Games, and upcoming events, visit the Summer Games website.
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