Ballard, O'Keefe on top at Team USA Trials


    Team USA News

    Sunset Station in Las Vegas, Nev., USA (Jan. 13-18, 2008)

    2008TeamUSATTDelBallard.jpg For years, making a living as a bowler was at the top of the list of priorities for Del Ballard Jr. (pictured left) of North Richland Hills, Texas. As he's gotten older, those priorities have started to change.

    Now Ballard, 44, has set his sights on representing his country by earning a spot on Team USA through this week's 2008 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials at Sunset Station's Strike Zone Bowling Center.

    2008TTShannonOKeefe.jpg Ballard, who owns 10 professional titles, moved into the overall lead in the men's division Thursday with a 27-game pinfall of 6,047. Shannon O'Keefe (right) of Brookfield, Wis., leads the women with 5,843.

    "I've kind of moved on a little bit in my career after being exempt (on the Denny's PBA Tour) last year, and it's OK if I don't make my living bowling," Ballard said.

    "But I still enjoy bowling, hate to lose and love the competition. It would be a great honor to earn a spot on Team USA."

    2007PBA02DerekEoff2_small.jpg 2007MAZCJohnJanawicz_small.jpg Ballard holds a slim lead over Derek Eoff (left) of Greenfield, Wis., who is second just nine pins back. John Janawicz (right) of Winter Haven, Fla., is 18 pins off the lead while J.R. Raymond of Lebanon, Mich., trails by 53 pins.

    O'Keefe, meanwhile, decided to compete this week despite already locking up a spot on Team USA in 2008. At last year's Team USA Trials, O'Keefe was selected to join the team for a two-year term.

    "I've worked so hard on my game that I need to take every opportunity I can to learn and grow to get to the next level," said O'Keefe, who closed Thursday's block with 822 for the last three games. "I'm never satisfied and I see this week as a chance to improve my game."

    2007PITTinaStickney_small.jpg 2008TeamUSATTStefanieNation_small.jpg Tina Stickney (left) of Goodyear, Ariz., who had a string of 18 games of 200 or better dating back to Tuesday, moved into second place, trailing O'Keefe by 29 pins. Stefanie Nation (right) of Orlando, Fla., is third, 36 pins off the lead. Second-round leader Tish Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colo., dropped to fourth, 129 pins back of first.

    Janawicz and O'Keefe both earned $500 prizes for being Thursday's squad leaders while Eoff and Stickney each pocketed $250 for second place.

    Competition concludes Friday with the last of four nine-game blocks. After 36 games, the top two men and top two women will automatically earn spots on Team USA. An additional two men and two women from the remaining field will be selected to join the team.

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    Women's Division

    Top 10 after 27 games (Block 3 on the long pattern)

    1, Shannon O'Keefe, Brookfield, Wis., 5,853. 2, Tina Stickney, Goodyear, Ariz., 5,824. 3, Stefanie Nation, Orlando, Fla., 5,817. 4, Tish Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo., 5,724. 5, Crystal Schoneman, Orlando, Fla., 5,675. 6, Brenda Viator, Lake Wales, Fla., 5,650. 7, Amanda Burgoyne, Newport, Minn., 5,536. 8, Ashly Galante, Palm Harbor, Fla., 5,498. 9, Olivia Sandham, Wichita, Kan., 5,456. 10, Adrienne Miller, Lincoln, Neb., 5,446.

    Men's Division

    Top 10 after 27 games (Block 3 on the long pattern)

    1, Del Ballard Jr., North Richland Hills, Texas, 6,047. 2, Derek Eoff, Greenfield, Wis., 6,036. 3, John Janawicz, Winter Haven, Fla., 6,029. 4, J.R. Raymond, Lebanon, Mich., 5,994. 5, Cassidy Schaub, Polk, Ohio, 5,979. 6, Nathan Bohr, Wichita, Kan., 5,940. 7, Vince Biondo, Carpentersville, Ill., 5,913. 8, Tim Pfeifer, Cranberry Township, Pa., 5,888. 9, Bryan O'Keefe, Brookfield, Wis., 5,858. 10, Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 5,800.

    2008 USBC Team USA Trials - Complete Results

    Men's Standings after 27 games

    Men Round 3 Results

    Women's Standings after 27 games

    Women Round 3 Results