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Westchester / Putnam girls bowler of the year: Jeanna Brown


1:00 AM, Apr. 14, 2013 EDT

Jeanna Brown of Mahopac has had the highest average in the section two years in a row. / Matthew Brown / The Journal News

Jeanna Brown has only been in high school for two years, but she has bowled her way to the state tournament for three seasons.

Young and experienced is one way to label the Mahopac sophomore. Another way is as the two-time Journal News Westchester/Putnam bowler of the year.

"I have learned a lot more and gotten a lot better," Brown said. "My expectation coming into the season was to have a higher average than last season."

Brown met that expectation, improving last season's average of 191 to 198.33 and finishing with the section's highest average two years in a row.

While competing in states has become somewhat of a tradition for Brown, in 2013 she found herself with another state team competitor in brother Dominick, who had the section's fourth-highest average among the boys (213.33) and made his first trip to states.

"I have a rivalry with my brother and he pushes me," Brown said. "It helps me to compete because we both try to beat each other. This year he beat me, but if he goes again next year that will just be more competition for me again."

Key factors for success in the lanes were making spares and being able to bowl in different places. She capitalized on both with a 1,258 finish in the six-game section tournament.

"Making spares was something that I needed to do. That is basically the best thing to do," Brown said. "I also learned different lane patterns and am able to bowl in different houses."

For spectators like Section 1 coordinator Joe Kalata, Brown's thirst for knowledge gives her an edge.

"She's constantly receptive of advice and she takes constructive criticism well," Kalata said. "Jeanna is definitely one of the strongest female bowlers in the section. She has a very good way of reading the lanes. She bowls well on a variety of shots."

Brown's willingness to listen to her father helped her performance at states. She finished with an 1,147 in a six-game series and a high game of 235.

"My dad always tells me to try something new and that I will never accomplish what I don't chase," Brown said. "I always try and see if people's suggestions work and if not I just go back with the old. At states he told me to switch to a different ball and when I did, I started to shoot 220s and 230s."

With two years of high school left, Brown's expectations remain the same: to improve.

"I want to make my average over a 200," she said. "It was a 209 this season and in the last two matches I got nervous and it dropped. I want to make sure I don't miss easy spares."

 

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