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Parkin, Russo lead after three rounds at 2017 USBC Team USA Trials

Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, California, and Matt Russo of Millstone Township, New Jersey, are leading the way after three rounds at the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials in Lass Vegas.

Parkin moved into the lead at Sunset Station’s Strike Zone Bowling Center after claiming the top spot for the second consecutive day, giving her a total of 17 ranking points through three rounds. Russo (pictured above), who was tied for the lead after two rounds, finished fifth Friday in sole possession of the top spot with 17 points as well.

The players earn points based on their finishing positions in each qualifying round. The top bowler of the block earns one ranking point, second place earns two points, etc., with the lowest total of ranking points after the five six-game blocks determining the 2017 USBC Team USA Trials champions.

After averaging more than 241 to lead Thursday’s second round, Parkin (pictured left) continued at a torrid pace Friday, averaging better than 260 on the 45-foot Rome oil pattern to take the overall lead. The seven-time Team USA member rolled games of 287, 256, 205, 279, 257 and 278 for a 1,562 total.

“I think yesterday definitely loosened up my swing quite a bit,” said Parkin, who rolled a 300 game to start Thursday’s round. “It’s nice to capitalize on yesterday’s block and come in today with another great start. It allowed me to stay consistent, allowed my swing to stay relaxed and allowed me to bowl well the rest of the block.”

Parkin now is setting her sights on holding onto the top spot and earning a trip to the 2017 QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup in Hermosillo, Mexico. The men’s and women’s Team USA Trials winners will represent Team USA at the event.

“I had a lot of motivation going into this week, but my goal definitely is to go to the World Cup,” said Parkin, who finished 15th in Wednesday’s opening round. “I’ve never been to the World Cup, and it’s definitely on my bucket list. After a slow first day, I knew I would have to bowl really well in order to do that.”

Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, is second overall on the women’s side with 18 points. Sydney Brummett (right) of Fort Wayne, Indiana, is third with 25 points, and Bryanna Coté of Red Rock, Arizona, and Stephanie Zavala of Downey, California, are tied for fourth place with 31 points.

Zavala and Coté each moved into the top five for the first time this week after finishing Friday’s block in second and third, respectively. Zavala posted a 1,459 total, while Coté had 1,380. Leanne Vastbinder of Winter Park, Florida, finished fourth with 1,346, and Kulick was fifth with 1,340.

Laura Branch of Victor, New York, rolled the second 300 of the week on the women’s side during Friday’s third round. She finished the round in 25th place with a 1,242 total.

On the men’s side, Matt Russo (left) leaned on his experience from the 2016 event to get to the correct part of the lane from the start Friday, and the left-hander fired games of 267, 192, 237, 247, 241 and 268 for a 1,452 total.

“We hit this pattern last year, and I started by playing deeper and ran into trouble,” said Russo, a 2016 Junior Team USA member.

“The last three games, I moved left and bowled well, so coming into this year I knew that’s where I had to play to give myself the best chance. I’ve been very fortunate to bowl well this week, and I hope to keep riding that wave and continue to make smart choices.”

Jakob Butturff (right) of Tempe, Arizona, who shared the lead with Russo after Round 2, is second with 30 points. Andrew Cain of Phoenix is third with 32 points, and defending Team USA Trials champion Marshall Kent of Yakima, Washington, is fourth with 38 points. Nick Kruml of Downers Grove, Illinois, rounds out the top five with 50 points.

AJ Chapman (left) of Wichita, Kansas, surpassed Parkin’s total Friday by four pins, firing games of 278, 258, 255, 264, 245 and 266 for a 1,566 total, a 261 average, to lead the men’s field. Andrew Anderson of Holly, Michigan, finished second with 1,495, while Kent (1,468) and Cain (1,457) were third and fourth, respectively.

Chapman has improved each round at the 2017 event, and the two-time Team USA member credited his opening pair’s strategy in helping getting out to a fast start.

“It was really nice the first game, since our pair stayed right in practice and played together,” said Chapman, who won two gold medals and one silver medal at the 2016 Pan American Bowling Confederation Adult Championships in Cali, Colombia.

“We broke it down, moved left of the track and it got really good from there. The track play is pretty dominant here, which makes the long patterns pretty nice. It was cool to get out there and throw a bunch of strikes, and I really needed a day like this to get back in the hunt.”

The United States National Amateur Bowling Championships also is being contested during Team USA Trials. The top three amateur men and top three amateur women after Sunday’s final round of qualifying will advance to a stepladder finals, which will determine the U.S. Amateur champions. The winners will earn spots on Team USA.

The top three amateurs on the women’s side are Brummett (25 ranking points), Zavala (31 points) and Breanna Clemmer of Clover, South Carolina (35 points). The top three amateurs for the men are Russo (17 points), Steven Badovinac of Monument, Colorado (57 points), and Chapman (62 points). Chapman holds the edge over Bryan Hahlen of Greenwood, South Carolina, who also has 62 points, due to total pinfall.

To be eligible for the U.S. Amateur, a bowler must not hold or have held a professional membership (Professional Bowlers Association or Professional Women’s Bowling Association) in the preceding year. Also, anyone who has won a professional title (regional, national or senior) as a professional is not eligible to compete as an amateur.

Competition continues Saturday at 11 a.m. Eastern with the fourth round of men’s qualifying on the 44-foot Tokyo oil pattern. BOWL.com’s BowlTV will provide wire-to-wire coverage of the event.

A minimum of 12 men and 12 women will join Team USA 2017. The top four men and top four women at the 2017 Team USA Trials, based on ranking points, will earn automatic spots, while two additional men and two additional women will be selected by the National Selection Committee from the pool of players that competed during the week at Sunset Station.

The National Selection Committee will select a maximum of five men and five women for the team based on submitted resumes from Team USA or Junior Team USA members within the last 10 years or those in the top 25 in earnings during the 2016 PBA Tour season and top 25 in points during the 2016 PWBA Tour season.

For youth competitors, Junior Team USA 2017 will consist of 12 boys and 12 girls. The top four boys and top four girls at the 2017 Team USA Trials, based on ranking points, will earn automatic spots, while two additional boys and two additional girls from either the 2017 Team USA Trials or 2016 Junior Gold Championships will be selected by the National Selection Committee.

They will join the six boys and six girls who already earned their spots on Junior Team USA 2017 through qualifying at the 2016 Junior Gold Championships in Indianapolis.

For more information on the USBC Team USA Trials and U.S. Amateur, click here.

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2017 USBC Team USA Trials – Standings after Round 3

Top 20 with position, name, hometown and six-game total

Men’s Division:
Round 3 Results
Team USA Trials – Overall Standings
U.S. Amateur – Overall Standings

1, Matt Russo, Millstone Township, N.J., 17
2, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., 30
3, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 32
4, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 38
5, Nick Kruml, Downers Grove, Ill., 50
T6, Steven Badovinac, Monument, Colo., 57
T6, Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 57
8, Perry Crowell IV, Hoquiam, Wash., 61
T9, Bryan Hahlen, Greenwood, S.C., 62
T9, AJ Chapman, Wichita, Kan., 62
T11, AJ Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 72
T11, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 72
13, Gregory Young Jr., Viera, Fla., 78
14, Cortez Schenck, Phoenix, 80
15, Thomas McNeal, Seattle, 81
16, Nick Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 87
T17, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 89
T17, Kenny Ryan, Farmingdale, N.J., 89
19, Kyle King, Glendale, Ariz., 95
20, Jacob Kersten, Clarkston, Mich., 96

Women’s Division:
Round 3 Results
Team USA Trials – Overall Standings
U.S. Amateur – Overall Standings

1, Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 17
2, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 18
3, Sydney Brummett, Fort Wayne, Ind., 25
T4, Bryanna Coté, Red Rock, Ariz., 31
T4, Stephanie Zavala, Downey, Calif., 31
6, Erin McCarthy, Omaha, Neb., 34
7, Breanna Clemmer, Clover, S.C., 35
8, Shannon O’Keefe, O’Fallon, Ill., 39
9, Giselle Poss, Montgomery, Ill., 43
10, Kayla Johnson, Washington, Ill., 45
11, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 46
12, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 47
13, Julia Bond, Aurora, Ill., 48
14, Stephanie Schwartz, Racine, Wis., 51
15, Josie Earnest, Nashville, Tenn., 59
16, Lauren Hoffman, Monroe Township, N.J., 71
17, Megan Kelly, Dayton, Ohio, 77
18, Sarah Lokker, New Baltimore, Mich., 82
19, Paige Kraushaar, Crown Point, Ind., 87
T20, Laura Branch, Victor, N.Y., 88
T20, Lauren Pate, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 88

Author: Herbert Bickel
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