Former Junior Team USA members take Doubles lead at USBC Open Championships


    United States

    Rob Gotchall tosses the fifth perfect game of this year's event

    2010USBCOCErikVermilyeaJeffreyMersch.jpgErik Vermilyea of Mansfield, Texas, and Jeffrey Mersch (pictured l-r) of Orlando, Fla., are former Junior Team USA teammates and have bowled doubles together at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships for five of the last six years.

    Their familiarity with each other's games has helped them to continued success on the tournament lanes, including a 25th-place doubles finish in 2007. This year, everything came together for them again as they turned in their best effort yet and took the Regular Doubles lead with a 1,507 total at the National Bowling Stadium on Sunday.

    Vermilyea, a 26-year-old right-hander, led the way with games of 237, 244 and 277 for a 758 series, while the left-handed Mersch, 26, added 259, 279 and 211 for 749 and the sixth-highest doubles total in tournament history and second-highest in six visits to the Stadium. Tom Milton of St. Petersburg, Fla., and David Taylor of Seminole, Fla. previously held the lead with 1,498.

    "During the middle of the first game, it just felt like we had a chance to do something," said Vermilyea, a member of Junior Team USA in 2004 and 2005 and Team USA in 2005 who made his sixth USBC Open Championships appearance. "Jeff just kept striking, and I was trying to keep up with him. To know that our score has a legitimate chance of winning is an awesome feeling, and even if it doesn't hold up, we still got up and threw five out of six strikes to take the lead, and that's something you can't describe."

    Mersch, a former collegiate standout at the University of Central Florida and two-time Junior Team USA member (2002 and 2004), began to struggle at the beginning of the third doubles game. His teammates suggested switching to a different ball, and he didn't hesitate.

    "I had no doubt in my mind when they told me to change balls," said Mersch, who bowls regularly at Boardwalk Bowl and also made his sixth Open Championships appearance. "I have total trust in these guys and knew they wouldn't say it if they didn't think it was the right choice."

    2010USBCOCAnthonyLacaze.jpgVermilyea, Mersch and their Junior Team USA Support teammates (Steve Novak, Matthew Tuckfield and PBA national champion Anthony LaCaze, left) all are products of the USBC Collegiate program, and much of their success at the Open Championships can be attributed to what they learned while bowling in college.

    "I think college bowling really helped us out because we are so close," said Vermilyea, who works for USBC as a Sport Bowling Technical Specialist. "Everyone was giving high-fives and rooting each other on, not only in the team event, but in doubles and singles as well. The team atmosphere and team play are things that help us out, and we are used to it. Even though it was Jeff and I bowling doubles, everyone had a part in it."

    Mersch and Vermilyea also enjoyed individual success at the 2010 Open Championships. Mersch added 718 in singles and 645 in team for career-best 2,112 all-events total, which moved him into third place in Regular All-Events. Vermilyea shot 694 in team and 652 in singles for 2,104 and is fifth overall. Terrence Syring of Bay City, Mich., leads with 2,155.

    The duo also helped Junior Team USA Support into second place in Team All-Events with 9,893. Novak contributed 1,923 and was followed by LaCaze (1,904) and Tuckfield (1,850). Red Carpet Lanes of Greenfield, Wis., leads with 10,131.

    Vermilyea's onslaught of the pins this weekend did not end at the National Bowling Stadium. He also bowled well in doubles at the nearby Storm Bowlers Journal Championships, presented by USBC, where he teamed up with LaCaze for a 1,972 total, the highest doubles total since the event went to a four-game format in 2006.

    2010USBCOCRobGotchall.jpgLaCaze led the way a 1,020 set, while Vermilyea added 952. Travis Hersrud of Glyndon, Minn., and Randy Peterson of Carrington, N.D., previously held the lead with 1,814. Vermilyea and Rob Gotchall (pictured right) of Lincoln, Neb., are third with 1,813.

    Mersch tops Classic Singles and the Dual Entry standings at the Bowlers Journal with 970, while Vermilyea is third and second, respectively, with 952.

    Gotchall also made some noise at the Open Championships, tossing the fifth perfect game of this year's event.

    The 32-year-old right-hander closed out his 15th tournament appearance with games of 215, 214 and 300 for a 729 singles series. His perfect game earned him an additional spot in the record books as the 20th person to roll two 300s at the Open Championships. His first came at the 2002 event in Billings, Mont., where a record 64 perfect games were bowled.

    "Anytime you shoot a 300 at this event, it's special," said Gotchall, who added 697 in doubles and 670 in team for a 2,096 all-events total, which is sixth overall. "This is going to mean a lot more, though, since there have been so few this year."

    2010USBCOCLogo_small.jpg Presenting sponsors for the 2010 USBC Open Championships are Circus Circus, Eldorado and Silver Legacy Hotel/Casinos in Reno, Nev. Other sponsors include Sands Regency Casino Hotel, official brackets sponsor, Kegel, official lane maintenance provider, US Steltronic, official scoring system, and supporting sponsors Storm Bowling Products, UPS, Nationwide Insurance, Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa, Harrah's Reno Casino and Hotel and Peppermill Hotel Casino.


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    107th USBC Open Championships

    National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev., United States (Feb. 20 - July 5, 2010)


    Top 10 division leaders with hometown and pinfalls


    1, Bowlers Edge Pro Shop (Brad Kuhr, Timothy Rice, Dan Paul, Kenny Kempf, Jason Wendt), Neenah, Wis., 3,408. 2, Turbo 2-N-1 Grips 1, Madison, Wis., 3,298. 3, Red Carpet Lanes, Greenfield, Wis., 3,250. 4, Up An Adam, Coral Springs, Fla., 3,247. 5, Rob Bailey's Pro Shop 1, Sun Prairie, Wis., 3,202. 6, Design Wizards, Mandan, N.D., 3,159. 7, Thunderbird Bowl 2, Wichita, Kan., 3,140. 8, Don Johnson Memorial, Shepherdsville, Ky., 3,136. 9 (tie), Rip the Rack, Lake St. Louis, Mo., and Larry's Distributing, Grand Prairie, Texas, 3,131.

    1, Jeffrey Mersch, Orlando, Fla./Erik Vermilyea, Mansfield, Texas, 1,507. 2, Tom Milton, St. Petersburg, Fla./David Taylor, Seminole, Fla., 1,498. 3, Jeff Nimke, Oshkosh, Wis./Chad Maas, Brookfield, Wis., 1,480. 4, Kenneth Stephens, Frankfort, Ky./Randall Montoya, Albuquerque, N.M., 1,434. 5 (tie), Terry Hall, Rocklin, Calif./Andrew Udahl, Elk Grove, Calif., and Scott Helm, Hartford, Wis./Dave Beres, Greenfield, Wis., 1,421. 7, Mandy Wilson, Dayton, Ohio/Douglas Stone, Troy, Ohio, 1,419. 8 (tie), Jason Hale, Des Moines, Iowa/Matt Smith, Altoona, Iowa, and Lana Schwab, Lake Villa, Ill./Davey Rosen, Northbrook, Ill., 1,411. 10, Ryan Lever, New Berlin, Wis./Dale Traber, Cedarburg, Wis., 1,388.

    1, Terrence Syring, Bay City, Mich., 833. 2, Jimmy Johnson, Pataskala, Ohio, 804. 3, Dan Gould, East Hampton, Mass., 783. 4, Barry Zimmerman, Grand Forks, N.D., 766. 5, George Kontos, Joliet, Ill., 760. 6, Christopher Webb, Racine, Wis., 755. 7. Jimmy Hilligas, Kettering, Ohio, 749. 8, Brian Himmler, Cincinnati, 748. 9, Larry Thompson Jr., Spring, Texas, 742. 10 (tie), Anthony Woollis, Lubbock, Texas, and Michael Bourcier, 740.

    1, Terrence Syring, Bay City, Mich., 2,155. 2, Chad Maas, Brookfield, Wis., 2,141. 3, Jeffrey Mersch, Orlando, Fla., 2,112. 4, Jimmy Johnson, Pataskala, Ohio, 2,108. 5, Erik Vermilyea, Mansfield, Texas, 2,104. 6, Robert Gotchall, Lincoln, Neb., 2,096. 7, Shannon Pluhowsky, Phoenix, 2,083. 8 (tie), Matt Smith, Altoona, Iowa, and George Kontos Joliet, Ill., 2,073. 10, Christopher Webb, Racine, Wis., 2,067.

    Team All-Events
    1, Red Carpet Lanes (Jeff Nimke, Scott Helm, Steve Brinkman, Chad Maas, Dave Beres), Greenfield, Wis, 10,131. 2, Junior Team USA Support, Orlando, Fla., 9,893. 3, Don Johnson Memorial, Shepherdsville, Ky., 9,813. 4, Turbo 2-N-1 Grips 1, Madison, Wis., 9,609. 5, Bluebird Lanes, Orland Park, Ill., 9,602. 6, Professional Image Center 1, Coffeyville, Kan., 9,599. 7, Linds Limited, Milwaukee, 9,598. 8, Design Wizards, Mandan, N.D., 9,578. 9, Rob Bailey's Pro Shop 2, Sun Prairie, Wis., 9,450. 10, Sign Producers 1, Winter Garden, Fla., 9,341.



    1, Huikko's Bowling Center 3 (Pam Strong, Ronda Bauman, Jeanne Schmid, Jeffrey Schmid, Dale Bauman), Buffalo, Minn., 2,730. 2, EWI/NPS/Denny's, Mentor, Ohio, 2,699. 3, Wothe Bait 1, Perham, Minn., 2,684. 4, Garden Center Lanes 2, Alexandria, Minn., 2,683. 5, Garden Center Lanes 3, Alexandria, Minn., 2,663. 6, Sportsman Bowling Club 5, Moreno Valley, Calif., 2,662. 7, Paradise Lanes, Walden, Colo., 2,648. 8, Red Carpet, West Union, Minn., 2,627. 9, Roadrunners, Las Cruces, N.M., 2,604. 10, Whitlow Furnace, Scobey, Mont., 2,602.

    1, Tyson Sims/Scott Wilcox, Georgetown, Idaho, 1,182. 2, John Bishop/Dan Mosteller, Tooele, Utah, 1,175. 3, Wayne Doney, Lamar, Colo./Jim Matusek, Hartland, Wis., 1,174. 4, Pat Fitzgibbons, Colorado Springs, Colo./Pete Fitzgibbons, Goodland, Kan., 1,173. 5, Greg Allen/Stacey Bauer, Ogallala, Neb., 1,166. 6, Joe McKee/Mark Nalan, Sheffield, Iowa, 1,155. 7, Walter Cook, Inverness, Fla./Stephen Liik, Homosassa, Fla., 1,153. 8, Holly Ventura, Harwood Heights, Ill./Bob Zurek, River Grove, Ill., 1,149. 9, Delmar Brownell/Dale Brownell, Spearfish, S.D., 1,148. 10, Scott Werner, Overland Park, Kan./Mark Klyn, Pella, Iowa, 1,145.

    1, David Garcez, Merced, Calif., 669. 2, Mark Plute, Montrose, Colo., 644. 3, Curt VanLaningham, Ogallala, Neb., 624. 4, Dan Dahlquist, Wheaton, Ill., 622. 5, Terrance Hall, Spanish Fork, Utah, 620. 6, Ryan Goettsch, Galva, Iowa, 618. 7, Ryan Burmester, Chandler, Ariz., 615. 8, Flor Crowley, Oxnard, Calif., 611. 9, Preston Cheeks, Brooklyn, N.Y., 609. 10, Ron Haren, Houston, 606.

    1, Steve Miller, Roanoke, Ill., 1,775. 2, Richard Eisenhut, Downers Grove, Ill., 1,766. 3, Harry Berg, Eau Claire, Wis., 1,743. 4, Paul Daniels, Bonner, Mont., 1,739. 5, Jake Acuna, Pocatello, Idaho, 1,736. 6, John Stolarski, Waterford, Mich., 1,733. 7, Tom Sellers, Barstow, Calif., 1,732. 8, Preston Cheeks, Brooklyn, N.Y., 1,721. 9, Doug Boleyn, Waterloo, Iowa, 1,719. 10, Ken Hoffman, Durand, Ill., 1,718.


    2010 Storm Bowlers Journal Championships, presented by USBC

    Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, Nev.

    1, Pat McGainey Jr., Baltimore, 976. 2, Steve Novak, Bay City, Mich., 940. 3, Matt Smallin, Minot, N.D., 937. 4, Corey Slater, Syracuse, N.Y., 929. 5, Derek Magno, Liverpool, N.Y., 920. 6, Doug McHugh, Huron, S.D., 917. 7, Greg Derrick, Keller, Texas, 908. 8, Brent Watson, Parkersburg, W. Va., 907. 9, Bob Vandervorst, Manden, N.D., 905. 10, Paul Smith, Universal City, Texas, 898.

    1, Anthony Crews, Sebring, Fla., 821. 2, James Pavek, Fort Collins, Colo., 813. 3, Tom Prisco, Levittown, N.Y., 801. 4, Paul Morano, Iowa City, Iowa, 799. 5, Randy Shierling, Rochester, N.Y., 791. 6, Daryl Wasmund, Huron, S.D., 786. 7, Francis Allard, Grand Forks, Md., 783. 8, Michael McCordic, Sugar Land, Texas, 778. 9, Jason Locken, Bismarck, N.D., 775. 10, Brian Salapatek, Cortland, Ill., 772.

    1, Pete McCordic, Katy, Texas, 927. 2, Jim Kutter, Lidgermood, N.D., 903. 3, Steve Wright, Cypres, Texas, 884. 4 (tie), Phil Mann, Hazen, N.D., and Steve Ferraro, Kingston, N.Y., 874. 6, Dan Stricker, San Diego, 856. 7, Wayne Hohenstein, Vernon Center, Minn., 852. 8, Mike Boyd, Mclean, Va., 851. 9, Jon J. Carter, Mount Crawford, Va., 844. 10, Phillip Kepner, Mc kinney, Texas, 830.

    1, Jeffrey Mersch, Orlando, Fla., 970. 2, Michael Remaklus, Florissant, Mo., 962. 3, Erik Vermilyea, Mansfield, Texas, 952. 4, John Losito, Lincoln, Neb., 943. 5, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 941. 6, Brian Himmler, Cincinnati, 931. 7, Randy Wilson, Jr., Lincoln, Neb., 898. 8, Steve Ferraro, Kingston, N.Y., 889. 9, Dan Schaden Jr, Essex, Md., 885. 10 (tie), Bill Gates, Saginaw, Mich., and Rob Gotchall, Lincoln, Neb, 882.

    1, Danne Showers, Scobey, Mont., +130. 2, Steven Sprague Sr., Scobey, Mont., +98. 3, Rebecca Clarkson, Farr West, Utah, +92. 4, Bruce Reece, Osceola, Iowa, +72. 5, John Dorseth, Scobey, Mont., +49. 6, Roger Munson, Belmond, Iowa, +46. 7, Jay Clarkson, Farr West, Utah, +33. 8, James Lindenfelser, Erhand, Minn., +29. 9, Phillip Riewer, Perham, Minn., +27. 10, Roxanne Oder, Waukon, Iowa, +25.

    1, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill./Erik Vermilyea, Mansfield, Texas, 1,972. 2, Travis Hersrud, Glyndon, Minn./Randy Peterson, Carrington, N.D., 1,814. 3, Rob Gotchall, Lincoln, Neb./Erik Vermilyea, Mansfield, Texas, 1,813. 4, T.J. Mento/Derek Magno, Liverpool, N.Y., 1,807. 5, Pete McCordic, Katy, Texas/Paul McCordic, Sugar Land, Texas, 1,796. 6, Steve Novak, Bay City, Mich./Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 1,790. 7, Derek Magno, Liverpool, N.Y./Pete McCordic, Katy, Texas, 1,785. 8, Jeffrey Mersch/Matthew Tuckfield, Orlando, Fla., 1,775. 9, Brian Cavey, Baltimore/Dan Schaden Jr., Essex, Md., 1,774. 10, Rob Gotchall, Lincoln, Neb./Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 1,771.

    1, Pete McCordic, Katy, Texas/Paul McCordic, Sugar Land, Texas, 1,790. 2, Steve Wright, Cypres, Texas/Pete McCordic, Katy, Texas, 1,699. 3, Randy Peterson, Carrington, ND/Phil Mann, Hazen, ND, 1653. 4, Steve Wright, Cypres, Texas/Paul McCordic, Sugar Land, Texas, 1,645. 5, Phil Mann, Hazen, N.D./Gary Bryant, Regan, N.D., 1,621. 6, Skip Beck, Dutton, Mich./Ed Lumb, Kentwood, Mich., 1,580. 7, Kevin Croucher, Grants Pass, Ore./Dennis Powell, Eugene, Ore., 1,573. 8, Phil Mann, Hazen, N.D./Gary Bentley, Bismark, N.D., 1,550. 9, Jim Johnson, Shakopee, Minn./Jim Prodger, Bloomington, Minn., 1,542. 10, Steve Kuss Jr./Dave Demperio, Syracuse, N.Y., 1,527.

    1, Janette Nevels, Universal City, Texas/Paul Smith, Universal City, Texas, 1,636. 2, Samantha Williams, Hunt Valley, Md./Dan Schaden Jr., Essex, Md., 1,630. 3, Patti Tenyenhuis, Saugerties, N.Y./Tim Beaver, Kingston, N.Y., 1,551. 4, Herb Van Gundy, San Antonio/Janette Nevels, Universal City, Texas, 1,477. 5, Jill Croucher, Grants Pass, Ore./Mark Scime, Winter Garden, Fla., 1,407.

    1, Jeffrey Mersch, Orlando, Fla., 970. 2, Erik Vermilyea, Mansfield, Texas, 952. 3, John Losito, Lincoln, Neb., 943. 4, Anthony LaCaze, Melrose Park, Ill., 941. 5, Steve Novak, Bay City, Mich., 940. 6, Brian Himmler, Cincinnati, 931. 7, Corey Slater, Syracuse, N.Y., 929. 8, Pete McCordic, Katy, Texas, 927. 9, Derek Magno, Liverpool, N.Y., 920. 10, Brian Himmler, Cincinnati, 912.