U.S. Rosters Named for PABCON Youth Championships, Tournament of the Americas

by Matt Cannizzaro, USBC Communications 0

ARLINGTON, Texas - For many young people, summertime is for relaxing, vacationing, going to camp or just enjoying time outdoors in the sunshine.

The members of Junior Team USA go to camp, as well, but it's the annual training camp at the International Training and Research Center, where they work with the coaching staff on everything from fundamentals to team building to their mental games.

The summer also is busy with top-tier events for young competitors, and that includes the upcoming Pan American Bowling Confederation Youth Championships, being held in the Dominican Republic from Aug. 11-17.

Eight Junior Team USA members have been selected by the Team USA coaching staff to represent the United States at the 22-lane Sebelen Bowling Center, the same facility that hosted the 2018 PABCON Women's Championships.

The girls side will a include a trio of world champions - Mabel Cummins of Elburn, Illinois, Caitlyn Johnson of Rockwell, North Carolina, and Kamerin Peters of Toms River, New Jersey, along with two-time Junior Team USA member Kaitlyn Eder of Lithia, Florida.

Cummins and Johnson helped Junior Team USA to a team gold medal at the 2018 World Bowling Youth Championships, while Cummins and Peters claimed the doubles gold medal at the inaugural World Bowling Junior Championships in March. Eder is an eight-time gold medalist at the Lee Evans Tournament of the Americas.

"Our girls have some great momentum after finding success at recent events, and we're looking forward to building on that in the Dominican Republic," Junior Team USA head coach Bryan O'Keefe said. "As always, it's a busy time of the year with many events going on, but that also means they're going to be extra sharp and ready to bowl well."

The boys roster is loaded with experience, too, with Anthony Neuer of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Cortez Schenck of Phoenix, Sean Wilcox of Altamonte Springs, Florida, and Tom Hankey Jr. of Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

Wilcox, a first-time team member, also is a member of adult Team USA and recently returned from a record-setting debut at the 2019 PABCON Men's Championships in Peru, where he earned two gold medals (doubles and team) and a bronze medal in all-events.

Schenck also has experience on both versions of Team USA, and his overall success includes a Masters gold medal at the 2018 World Youth Championships. He'll be making his second appearance at the PABCON Youth Championships and will seek his first gold medal at the event.

Neuer competed at the 2019 World Junior Championships, earning a silver medal in doubles. He also has represented Junior Team USA at the Tournament of the Americas.

Hankey Jr., a winner at the 2019 Intercollegiate Singles Championships and Intercollegiate Team Championships in his freshman season at Webber International, also has collected a handful of gold medals at the Tournament of the Americas.

"While we do say it often, we truly have a very deep and talented team each year, so expectations once again are very high on the boys side, too," O'Keefe said. "All of these guys have been to the top of the medal stand, and we're all excited for a chance to get them back up there."

The upcoming PABCON Youth Championships will feature 21-and-under boys and girls teams consisting of four players each, along with a 16-and-under category made up of two boys and two girls.

All U21 athletes will compete for medals in singles, doubles, trios, team and Masters competition. Medals will be awarded for all-events as well.

Junior Team USA only will compete in the U21 category at the PABCON event, but eight additional players from Junior Team USA and the U15 Developmental Team will bowl at the 2019 Tournament of the Americas at Sawgrass Lanes in Tamarac, Florida, from July 28-Aug. 3.

The Junior Division at the Tournament of the Americas includes two categories - Junior A (under 20) and Junior B (under 16) - and teams will consist of two boys and two girls.

Competing in Junior A will be Justin O'Shaughnessy of Canton, Michigan, Tommie McNeal of Puyallup, Washington, Addison Herzberg of Wichita, Kansas, and Taylor Davis of Burton, Michigan.

The four Developmental Team members competing in Junior B will be Deo Benard of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, Silas Lira of Tampa, Florida, Jaelle Hamman of Jarrell, Texas, and Annalise OBryant of Ball Ground, Georgia.

The Tournament of the Americas, which will be celebrating its 57th edition, also includes adult, senior and super senior categories, but USBC will not be sending representatives for those divisions.

Competitors will bowl for medals in singles, doubles, mixed doubles, team, all-events and national all-events.

For more information on Junior Team USA, visit BOWL.com/JuniorTeamUSA.

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