Wichita State's Current aims to repeat at 2008 USBC Intercollegiate Singles Championships


    USBC Collegiate

    Olympic Lanes in Milwaukee, Wis. (May 19-20, 2008)

    2008ITCElysiaCurrent.jpg When she transferred to Wichita State University two years ago, senior Elysia Current was looking to improve her all-around bowling game.

    While she took away a lot under the tutelage of legendary coaches Mark Lewis and Gordon Vadakin, what she gleaned most from that experience was how to manage her mental game.

    Wichita State senior Elysia Current helped lead the Shockers to a team national title in 2007 and a runner-up finish last month. Photo: Craig Hacker/Getty Images.

    "I had no clue about a mental game before going to Wichita State," said Current, a four-time All-American who was the 2003-04 Collegiate Player and Rookie of the Year while at Fairleigh Dickinson. "That's the main thing I've brought out of my experience there. I have a lot more tools in the bag now, just because I'm able to stay within myself and focus."

    Current's collegiate career will come to an end next week as she looks to defend her national title at the 2008 United States Bowling Congress Intercollegiate Singles Championships, being held at Olympic Lanes in Milwaukee on May 19-20.

    The USBC Intercollegiate Singles Championships, sponsored by Hammer Bowling, features 16 of the top women and 16 of the top men from college bowling competing for individual national titles.

    Current is no stranger to playing in elite singles tournaments as she finished in the top 24 at the recent USBC Queens and has attempted to qualify for several Denny's Professional Bowlers Association Tour events.

    "Bowling against strong competition makes you concentrate more on what you are doing," said Current, who recently competed in Bowling's Clash of Champions on CBS - thanks to her singles national title a year ago. "I'm there by myself, so I don't have teammates with me to depend on when making moves. I'm still in that learning process, but I've been able to pick some things up by watching other pros and how they do it."

    Current is hoping to take care of unfinished business in Milwaukee as she was runner-up two years ago at this event when it was last held at Olympic Lanes.

    2008ISCKaylaBandy_small.jpg She will face a slew of strong challengers in her quest to become the first to repeat, including Pikeville senior Kayla Bandy (left) - the two-time reigning Collegiate Player of the Year who helped lead the Bears to the women's national title at the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships in April, defeating Current and Wichita State in the finals.

    Other notables competing include All-America first-team selections Hayley Beavis of Martin Methodist and Rebekah Diers of McKendree. Central Florida senior Brigette Harrelson, a second-team All-American this season, and Lindenwood senior Jen Donahue, who received honorable mention, also will participate.

    Saginaw Valley State junior Dan MacLelland, the 2007-08 Collegiate Player of the Year who helped lead the Cardinals to team national titles in 2006 and 2007, highlights the men's field.

    Also competing are Wichita State's Will Barnes, Jake Peters and Jim Rogers, who helped lead the Shockers to their eighth national title last month at the USBC Intercollegiate Team Championships. Peters, the 2006 Teen Masters champion, finished in the top 24 at age 18 in the 2007 USBC Masters, a major event on the Denny's PBA Tour.

    Participants will bowl 12 qualifying games on May 19 to determine seeding for the best-of-5, single-elimination match play competition on May 20. The top four seeds in each division will receive byes to the third Round of match play, while No. 5 through No. 8 seeds will receive byes to the second round.

    Wichita State's Emily Maier and Ricki Williams as well as Vanderbilt's Josie Earnest and Shippensburg's Kerry Smith qualified to compete in the USBC Intercollegiate Singles Championships, but withdrew due to their Junior Team USA obligations for next week's training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., and were replaced by the next highest finisher at their sectionals.

    Lindenwood's Laura Fonnegra also withdrew due to a prior commitment in her home country of Colombia and was replaced.

    Qualifying for the USBC Intercollegiate Singles Championships was held at the four Sectional Qualifier sites - Allentown, Pa.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Fairview Heights, Ill.; and Las Vegas - on March 14. All participants bowled six games with total pinfall determining final standings. The top four finishers in each division (male and female) at each site advanced to the USBC Intercollegiate Singles Championships.

    The USBC Intercollegiate Singles Championships is sponsored by Hammer Bowling and Kegel, the official lane maintenance provider for USBC.

    2008 USBC Intercollegiate Singles Championships Participants

    Will Barnes, Wichita State University
    Vincent Dinova, North Carolina State University
    Michael Dole, Lindenwood University
    Ken Fischer, Robert Morris College
    David Gerhart, Rochester Institute of Technology
    Brian Huther, Martin Methodist College
    Dan MacLelland, Saginaw Valley State University
    Craig Nursey, North Carolina State University
    Jacob Peters, Wichita State University
    Jim Rogers, Wichita State University
    Sean Rutherford, Martin Methodist College
    Brett Shepherd, Vincennes University
    Jeffrey Szabo, William Paterson University
    Matthew Tod, Lindenwood University
    Richard Van Scoyk, McKendree University
    Daniel Vick, Rochester Institute of Technology

    Kayla Bandy, Pikeville College
    Hayley Beavis, Martin Methodist College
    Christine Belsky, Newman University
    Cindy Buckner, Martin Methodist College
    Amy Corbin, Morehead State University
    Elysia Current, Wichita State University
    Rebekah Diers, McKendree University
    Jen Donahue, Lindenwood University
    Michelle Kendrick, Florida State University
    Brigette Harrelson, University of Central Florida
    Melissa Hurst, Wichita State University
    Kristen Nielsen, Robert Morris College
    Jillian Pavlak, University of Central Florida
    Michelle Snyder, Morehead State University
    Kaidee Sutphin, University of Central Florida
    Jennifer Wright, Pikeville College