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Women's Bowling - Tue, Oct. 13, 2015
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Elgin, IL (Tuesday, Oct. 13th) Judson University Athletics –


The Judson Athletic Department is excited to announce the start of the university's first men's and women's bowling program and the hire of new bowling coach Astrid Valiente.


The announcement was made official Tuesday morning as the athletic department moves forward with its plans to expand to 19 sports.


Bowling is considered an "emerging " sport in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). According to the NAIA official website, a sport is deemed "emerging" if it is recognized by the organization as a varsity sport, but does not sponsor an official national championship tournament. Additionally, 25-49 schools must participate in the program. To qualify as a "championship" sport, 50 or more institutions must designate bowling as a varsity sport. The bowling hype has also reached the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) as schools such as Calumet-College of St. Joseph, Robert Morris, and St. Francis (IL) already have bowling teams in place.


Valiente is a key piece to the expansion as she brings 15 years of experience in the bowling industry into starting a first year program at Judson. Valiente attended the University of Pikeville (KY) in which she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. While attending Pikeville, Valiente competed on the Bear's women's bowling team from 2010-2014 and also competed on the Puerto Rico National Bowling Team from 2010 to 2013. 


On the list of her accomplishments, Valiente is a nationally and internationally recognized bowler. In college she won the NAIA National Championship in 2011-2012 and her team was the Intercollegiate Team Championships Runner-ups from 2012-2014. She was also selected as Mid-South Conference 2nd Team (2013) and 1st Team (2014) singles and double champion. Adding to an already impressive list was her selection as an NAIA Academic All-American from 2011-2014.


As a part of the Puerto Rico National team, Valiente won Puerto Rican Bowler of the Year in 2010. She was also a Tournament of Americas medalist in 2010, Cambowl Mayor medalist in 2010, and a CONCECABOL (Central and Caribbean Bowling Confederation) medalist in 2011.


"Astrid comes highly recommended by some of the most qualified coaches in the collegiate bowling community," Chad Gassman, Judson's Athletic Director added. "She has an outstanding resume as a player and I know she is ready to lead this program in their inaugural season." 


Valiente brings a high energy  and passion for the game and her experience will look to put Judson bowling on the map.