Team event reaches halfway point at 2019 PABCON Youth Championships

Standings - Girls | Boys

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -
The 21-and-under team event at the 2019 Pan American Bowling Confederation Youth Championships reached its halfway point Thursday, as nine girls teams and 10 boys teams completed three games at the Sebelen Bowling Center.

Costa Rica finished the day at the top of the girls standings with a 2,357 total, while Mexico set the pace on the boys side with 2,403.

All teams will return to the lanes for three additional games Friday, before the six-game pinfall totals determine the gold, silver and bronze medalists in each division. Teams consist of four players.

Costa Rica closed with the highest game of the day for the girls, an 860 effort, to catapult into the lead. The overall performance also included games of 743 and 754.

Puerto Rico is close behind with a 2,348 total, and the United States used a solid finish to end the day in third place with 2,271.

Junior Team USA
got out to a low-energy start and back-to-back 734 games, before pinpointing what was off and what needed to be done to get moving in the right direction.

Mabel Cummins led the way for the Junior Team USA girls with a 636 series and was followed by Kamerin Peters (550), Kaitlyn Eder (548) and Caitlyn Johnson (537).

"The first two games were rough all around, and we seemed to be lacking a little bit in energy and confidence in our shot making," said Cummins, who teamed with Peters this week for the doubles gold medal. "We eventually were able to find our groove and figure out how to pick each other up. We were able to bring the energy back up and even cheer a little, and that really helped our morale and performance.

"We also settled in to bowling as a team, rather than just four bowlers bowling together, and that's something we'll be more aware of from the beginning tomorrow."

2019PABCONYouthGirlsTeamForWeb637x359The Junior Team USA boys had a split-plagued three games Thursday and will have a tough climb ahead of them Friday, if they're going to rise from seventh place into medal contention.

They finished with a 2,255 total on games of 771, 713 and 771. Tom Hankey Jr. led the way with a 599 set and was followed by Anthony Neuer (585), Cortez Schenck (570) and Sean Wilcox (501).

Peru is second with 2,348, and Colombia is third with 2,339, leaving the United States 84 pins from the medal stand.

"The lanes played a lot tougher than they have all week, which had been a lot of hook all over the lane," Hankey said. "Today, we finally got the ball through the front part of the lane, but it never hooked downlane. We tried to fight that and thought we made the right moves, but every little mistake was amplified with a split or something we couldn't make. Over time, that gets stressful. We'll work on a new plan for tomorrow."

The end of the team event Friday also will determine the all-events medalists and the 16 girls and 16 boys who will advance to Saturday's Masters match play, all based on their 24-game pinfall totals from singles, doubles, trios and team (six games each).

Through 21 games, Peters tops the girls all-events standings with a 4,444 total, a 211.62 average. Zoriani Reyes, this week's singles winner, is second with 4,388, and Cummins is third with 4,183.

Junior Team USA's Johnson is tied for fourth place with 4,165, and Eder is 10th with 4,025.

With three games to go, Mexico's Renata Martinez holds the 16th spot with 3,793, a 180.62 average.

On the boys side, Schenck is the player to beat. He has averaged nearly 208 on the way to a 4,363 total for his 21 games. Peru's Sebastian Yuzuriha is second with 4,297, and Felipe Gil of Colombia is third with 4,293.

Junior Team USA's Neuer is two pins back in fourth place with 4,291, Hankey is sixth with 4,227 and Wilcox is the cut number, currently tied for 15th place with 4,053, a 193 average.

The 2019 PABCON Youth Championships includes two age-based categories - 16-and-under and 21-and-under - though the United States only is participating in the U21 category.

The U21 field this week features more than 80 competitors representing 12 countries on the boys side and 11 countries in the girls division.

Bowlers are competing for medals in singles, doubles, trios, team, all-events and Masters competition.

U21 competition at the 22-lane bowling center resumes Friday at 9 a.m. Eastern, and the Junior Team USA girls will take the lanes first. The boys will bowl their final three games at 12:30 p.m. EDT.

PABCON includes competitors from North, Central and South America, along with the Caribbean.