Teen bowls her way to the top

Donna Fernandez is only 14 years old, but that doesn't stop her from crushing the competition.

"My highest game I've ever bowled was a 258," exclaimed Donna.

Donna started bowling when she was 8 years old and has been improving her game ever since.  Her mom enlisted the help of Hall of Fame bowling coach Lucy Sandelin.

"I was a little surprised that a mom would want to coach one-on-one lessons with someone that young,” Sandelin said. “But I said we’ll let me see what kind of competitor she is and immediately I saw that Donna had a lot of potential."

Potential that has grown with the help of her coach.

"Lucy has been a big impact on my life," Donna said during bowling practice. “I love her and I'm happy to have her as a coach."

Donna placed sixth in the recent Florida state tournament, and is ranked number one in Tampa in her age group. In Hillsborough County, she has the highest scoring average of any young girl.

Her practice will be put to the test later in July when Donna and her family will travel to Chicago to compete in the Developmental Junior Team USA.

The sport of bowling has changed her life and helped her grow.

"Feeling confident in bowling also helped me feel confident in total because, when I go to school, I know if I can do something well I can do almost anything," Donna said with a smile.

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