Laurel’s Oak advances to national bowling tournament

By: 
CHRIS MCCONNEL
Outlook staff writer
Photo courtesy of Michele Oak.  Skylar Oak is heading to the Junior Gold National Bowling Championship in Cleveland, Ohio on July 15. There is a garage sale fundraiser for Oak on June 23-24 at 825 Cottonwood Avenue in Laurel.

Skylar Oak qualified for the Junior Gold National Championship in Cleveland, Ohio by way of the Montana Youth Bowling Championship held in Great Falls March 31 through April 2.
One bowler from each age group advanced to the national tournament from the Montana bowling championship. The 16-year-old Oak took third in the Under-20 division, but the winner had already qualified through other means and the second place finisher deferred his spot, giving Oak the opportunity compete at the national level.
The Junior Gold Championship runs from July 15-22 in Cleveland and Oak will have a chance to earn a spot on the U.S. Junior Team. Oak says after he registers he will practice at four different bowling alleys to prepare for the competition. Practice will be on June 15-16 with opening ceremonies kicking off the tournament on the evening of the second day. Qualifying rounds will begin on June 17.
Oak has been bowling for so long he can’t remember when he started, but his competitive career began “four or five years ago.”
He hasn’t hit the 300 mark yet, but with 279 as his best single game, and 724 being his best series, it is only a matter of time.
“I love the sport,” Oak said, “It’s my life.”
Oak developed his passion for the sport through his family’s involvement. He said his grandpa, Dean Hallen, is the best bowler in the family, but said his mom, Michele, is a close second.
Hallen leases Fat Cat Lanes from the owner of the KC’s Palace and Oak works there, so he is able to find ample time to practice.
Because expenses aren’t covered, Oak and his family are asking the community for some extra help so he can take full advantage of this opportunity.
Donations are being accepted for a fundraising garage sale on Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24 at 825 Cottonwood Ave. in Laurel.
Please email Michele Oak at michele_oak@yahoo.com to arrange pick up of donations. There will be cabbage rolls, homemade fudge and other baked goods available for purchase at the garage sale.
Cash donations can be made to Fat Cat Lanes, Attn: Dean Hallen, 305 E Main in Laurel.

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