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Team USA, Canada women qualify for 2019 Pan American Games


While the main focus last week at Sebelen Bowling Center in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, was to earn medals in six disciplines at the 2018 Pan American Bowling Confederation Women’s Championships, there was a secondary goal for a few of the teams.

The event also served as an opportunity for countries to qualify their women’s teams for the 2019 Pan American Games, which will be held in Lima, Peru, and based on their overall performances across the first four days of competition, the United States and Canada earned the two spots up for grabs.

Featured photo from left: Shannon O’Keefe, Missy Parkin, Shannon Pluhowsky, Liz Kuhlkin, Jordan Richard and Sydney Brummett.

The Lima 2019 Pan American Games (July 26-Aug. 11) will bring together approximately 6,700 athletes and feature 39 sports and 62 disciplines. The Pan Am Games are the second largest multi-sport event, gathering the 41 National Olympic Committees that make up PanamSports.

Pan Am qualifying at the 2018 PABCON Women’s Championships was based on the combined pinfall total of each country’s top two players through 24 games – six games of singles, doubles, trios and team.

The top performers for Team USA were Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio (5,428), and Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, California (5,375), who had a combined total of 10,803. Leaders for Canada were Felicia Wong (5,133) and Isabelle Rioux (5,019), who combined for 10,152.

Though the countries qualified based on the scores from the players listed, the bowlers who will represent the countries at the Pan American Games will be selected by each country at a later date. Competition at the tournament includes singles and doubles.

“Qualifying for the Pan American Games is really special because that tournament is like our Olympics, and there’s only so many teams that get in,” Team USA head coach Rod Ross said.

“We knew only two teams from this week would qualify, and we didn’t know coming in how many teams already would be qualified. Getting it done here takes some pressure off of us at the next event, too, and we now can start preparing for it.”

All countries have designated two PABCON or other regional events, such as the Central American Games or Caribbean Games, as their qualifying attempts, and the United States chose the PABCON Championships (the men’s edition will be held in early 2019) and the PABCON Champion of Champions events, scheduled for late October in Brazil.

Men’s and women’s teams each must qualify separately.

On the women’s side, Argentina, Aruba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela had qualified through other events, while Peru automatically earns spots in both the men’s and women’s categories as the host country.

Men’s teams that already have qualified are Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

The Team USA players slated for the PABCON Champion of Champions event are Kelly Kulick of Union, New Jersey, Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York, Matt Farber of Plainview, New York, and Matt Russo of Millstone Township, New Jersey.

The Pan Am Games are held every fourth year and last were contested in Toronto in July 2015.

The first edition of the Pan Am Games was held in Buenos Aires in 1951 and welcomed 22 countries competing in 18 sports.

“We came in here and wanted to have a good performance in each event, but our long-term goal was to qualify for the Pan American Games, so having that done and over with for the women takes a lot of pressure of for the rest of the year,” Team Canada head coach Tyrel Rose said.

“It’s such a huge event. The experience there is phenomenal because the bowlers get to be part of the athletes’ village and are surrounded by athletes from many other sports. It gets our sport a lot of recognition and legitimacy, and the bowlers are honored because they are not only representing our country, but also our sport.”

For more information or results from the 2018 PABCON Women’s Championships, click here.

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Herbert Bickel

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