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News Team Henselite Dane McKinnon and Mikayla Baker crowned Australian Open U18 champions
February 20, 2011

With some of the best junior bowlers on show this week in the Under 18 section of the Australian Open, it was Victoria's Dane McKinnon and Tasmania's Mikayla Baker who won out taking the boys and girls titles respectively.

'I've made the semis two years in a row," said Dane who plays for Werribee RSL in the Henselite Victorian Premier League. "So it's a big thrill to win."

"There are some great bowlers here, I played Nathan in the semi and he doesn't give you much. He's got a big future ahead of him." he said, referring to SA's Nathan Pedersen. "And Jaimie (Eichorn, NSW) in the final who has 4 national silvers."

Mikayla from Derwent City BC who beat Women's Singles winner Lisa Phillips on her way to the title, was equally pleased with her win. "It's different to what I'm used to, it's on a much bigger stage," she said."It's a proud moment."

Seven out of the eight finalists in the U18 competition were using Henselite bowls with both Dane and Mikayla choosing Dreamlines for the greens at Darebin International Sports Centre last week. "I've always loved my Dreamlines," said Dane. "I tried other bowls but ever since I started bowling with them, I've never looked back. They've got a beautiful line."

It's back to business for Dane, though, as he returns to the Premier League this weekend. "We've got to win this week to stay in premier league. I've been skipping the last few weeks so I hope we'll get a good result. Everyone at Werribee's been really supportive of me, I've had lots of calls and messages so I'm sure I'll get a good reception."

Photos: Right, Dane McKinnon, Left, Mikayla Baker

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Dane McKinnon and Mikayla Baker crowned Australian Open U18 champions