By Aaron Smith
LAS VEGAS - Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., and Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., lead after the fourth round of the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino.
McEwan placed in the top five for the third consecutive round, finishing fourth Wednesday to extend her leading total to 16 ranking points. Kent moved into the overall lead for the first time with a fourth-place finish of his own, which brought his total to 36 points.
The two have a combined eight appearances on Team USA dating back to 2012, when they won their respective divisions at the USBC Team USA Trials.
Stefanie Johnson of Grand Prairie, Texas, moved up a spot into second place on the women's side with 31 points, while Jordan Richard of Tipton, Mich., dropped to third with 34.
Defending Team USA Trials champion, Kamron Doyle of Brentwood, Tenn., and Zach Hattori of Henderson, Nev., are second and third on the men's side, maintaining their positions in the standings with 40 points and 43 points, respectively.
"I'm going to try my hardest to keep my mindset the same and keep doing what I've been doing so far," said McEwan, who finished the fourth round with a 1,389 six-game total. "I'm always trying to learn from the past and I will use what's worked going into tomorrow and hope for the best outcome."
Stephanie Schwartz of San Antonio started Wednesday's fourth round on the 34-foot Stockholm pattern with a 299 game and ended her block with 268 to edge Kelly Kulick of Union, N.J., for the top spot in the standings with 1,463. Kulick finished with 1,459, while Johnson was third Wednesday with 1,443.
Kent, who owns one Professional Bowlers Association Tour title, was 13th after the first round and has worked his way to the top of the standings by relying on his mental game.
"The really big thing for me this week has been patience," said Kent, who posted a fourth-round total of 1,460. "I'm trying not to get too overwhelmed or emotionally caught up in the results. I've been grinding through the bad games and taking advantage of the good ones, and mentally, this has been the best week I've ever had. It's nice to be in the position you want to be in, so I'm going to stick with the same game plan and stay patient, stay in the moment, make good shots and keep up with the moves. We'll see what happens in the end."
Michael Tang of San Francisco averaged more than 247 to lead the men's fourth round, finishing the block with a 1,485 total. Aaron Yuratovich of Olathe, Kan., was second with 1,473, and Brad Miller of Maryland Heights, Mo., was third with 1,467.
The players this week earn points based on their finishing position in each of the qualifying rounds - the top bowler of the block earns one ranking point, second place in the block earns two points, etc. - with the lowest total of ranking points after five six-game blocks determining the overall leaders.
The United States National Amateur Bowling Championships returns as part of the 2016 Team USA Trials. The top three amateur men and top three amateur women will advance to a stepladder final after the final round of qualifying, which will determine the U.S. Amateur champions. The winners also will earn a spot on Team USA.
Richard, Schwartz (42 points) and Taylor Bulthuis of Coral Springs, Fla. (58 points), are the top three amateurs on the women's side heading into Thursday's final round. The men's amateur field is led by Doyle, Hattori and Chris Via of Springfield, Ohio, who has 44 points.
Competition continues Thursday at 11 a.m. Eastern with the fifth and final round of men's qualifying. Thursday's U.S. Amateur stepladder final is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. Eastern, and will be directly followed by the introductions of Team USA and Junior Team USA 2016. BOWL.com's BowlTV will provide wire-to-wire coverage of the event.
A minimum of 12 men and 12 women will join Team USA for 2016. The top four men and top four women at the 2016 Team USA Trials, based on ranking points, automatically will earn spots, while two additional men and two additional women will be selected by the National Selection Committee from the field of players that competed this week.
The National Selection Committee also will select a maximum of five men and five women for the team based on resumes submitted by Team USA or Junior Team USA members from the last 10 years or the top 25 on the points list of the 2015 PBA Tour and 2015 Professional Womens Bowling Association Tour.
On the youth side, Junior Team USA 2016 will consist of 12 boys and 12 girls. The top four boys and top four girls at the 2016 Team USA Trials, based on ranking points, automatically will earn spots, while two additional boys and two additional girls will be selected by the National Selection Committee from either the 2016 Team USA Trials or 2015 Junior Gold Championships.
They will join the six boys and six girls who already earned their spots on Junior Team USA 2016 by qualifying at the 2015 Junior Gold Championships in Chicago.
To be eligible for the U.S. Amateur portion of the event, a bowler must not hold or have held a professional membership (PBA or PWBA) anytime in 2015. Also, anyone who has won a professional title (regional, national or senior) as a professional is not eligible to compete as an amateur.
For more information on the USBC Team USA Trials and U.S. Amateur, visit BOWL.com/TeamUSATrials.
2016 USBC Team USA Trials
At Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas
ROUND 4 - TOP 20
(Position, name, hometown, six-game total)
1, Michael Tang, San Francisco, 1,485.
2, Aaron Yuratovich, Olathe, Kan., 1,473.
3, Brad Miller, Maryland Heights, Mo., 1,467.
4, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 1,460.
5, Rob Gotchall, Clarksville, Tenn., 1,459.
6, Kevin Bienko, Kenmore, N.Y., 1,437.
7, Edwin Baradas, Roseville, Calif., 1,430.
8, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 1,420.
9, Andrew Anderson, Holly, Mich., 1,418.
10, Sam Cantrell, Citrus Heights, Calif., 1,416.
11, Zach Hattori, Henderson, Nev., 1,415.
12, Joe Gerencser, Henderson, Nev., 1,412.
13, Greg Young, Viera, Fla., 1,410.
14, Matt Russo, Millstone Township, N.J., 1,396.
15, Sean Wilcox, Altamonte Springs, Fla., 1,394.
16, Kamron Doyle, Brentwood, Tenn., 1,390.
17, Michael Eaton Jr., Mason, Ohio, 1,387.
18, AJ Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 1,386.
19, DeeRonn Booker, Anaheim, Calif., 1,385.
20, Darren Tang, San Francisco, 1,381.
1, Stephanie Schwartz, San Antonio, 1,463.
2, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 1,459.
3, Stefanie Johnson, Grand Prairie, Texas, 1,443.
4, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 1,389.
5, Erin McCarthy, Omaha, Neb., 1,370.
T6, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 1,356.
T6, Jose Earnest, Nashville, Tenn., 1,356.
8, Kalynn Carl, Albany, N.Y., 1,348.
9, Bryanna Cote, Red Rock, Ariz., 1,339.
10, Ashly Galante, Palm Harbor, Fla., 1,332.
T11, Sydney Brummett, Fort Wayne, Ind., 1,320.
T11, Megan Kelly, Dayton, Ohio, 1,320.
13, Katelyn Simpson, Emmett, Idaho, 1,309.
T14, Jordan Richard, Tipton, Mich., 1,301.
T14, Sarah Lokker, New Baltimore, Mich., 1,301.
16, Stephanie Cieslewicz, Amherst, Wis., 1,297.
17, Nicole Powell, Orland Park, Ill., 1,287.
18, Robyn Renslow, Brentwood, Calif., 1,256.
19, Kelly Belzeski, Schererville, Ind., 1,254.
T20, Taylor Bulthuis, Coral Springs, Fla., 1,252.
T20, Ashlyn Herzberg, Wichita, Kan., 1,252.
OVERALL - TOP 20
(Position, name, hometown, total points. Points based on finishing position in each round.)
1, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 36 (13-17-2-4).
2, Kamron Doyle, Brentwood, Tenn., 40 (2-15-7-16).
3, Zach Hattori, Henderson, Nev., 43 (24-7-1-11).
4, Chris Via, Springfield, Ohio, 44 (19-14-3-8).
5, Jeff Fehr, Cincinnati, 53 (4-1-12-36).
6, A.J. Chapman, Manchester, Iowa, 56 (5-4-29-18).
T7, Rob Gotchall, Clarksville,Tenn., 61 (12-19-25-5).
T7, Anthony Simonsen, Princeton, Texas, 61 (7-20-6-28).
9, Andrew Cain, Phoenix, 79 (7-38-13-21).
10, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 89 (30-29-4-26).
11, Michael Tang, San Francisco, 98 (18-17-62-1).
12, Matt Russo, Millstone Township, N.J., 112 (20-62-16-14).
13, Kyle Krol, Tinley Park, Ill., 114 (31-16-36-31).
T14, Wesley Low Jr., Palmdale, Calif., 118 (11-59-8-40).
T14, Steve Smith, San Diego, 118 (43-6-19-50).
16, A.J. Johnson, Oswego, Ill., 124 (27-9-35-53).
17, John Janawicz, Winter Haven, Fla., 128 (46-8-42-32).
18, DeeRonn Booker, Anaheim, Calif., 135 (89-22-5-19).
T19, Michael Martell, Brooklyn, N.Y., 149 (9-77-40-23).
T19, Meeco Walker, East Cleveland, Ohio, 149 (22-23-36-68).
1, Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 16 (7-2-3-4).
2, Stefanie Johnson, Grand Prairie, Texas, 31 (3-24-1-3).
3, Jordan Richard, Tipton, Mich., 34 (9-5-6-14).
4, Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 41 (19-18-2-2).
5, Stephanie Schwartz, San Antonio, 42 (21-16-4-1).
6, Taylor Bulthuis, Coral Springs, Fla., 58 (8-22-8-20).
7, Shannon O'Keefe, O'Fallon, Ill., 60 (17-14-5-24).
8, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 64 (48-1-9-6).
9, Erin McCarthy, Omaha, Neb., 66 (33-3-25-5).
10, Bryanna Cote, Red Rock, Ariz., 75 (18-9-39-9).
11, Heather Penatzer, Tucson, Ariz., 84 (26-23-7-28).
12, Ashley Dunn, Palmdale, Calif., 86 (4-7-27-48).
13, Haley Richard, Tipton, Mich., 96 (2-28-14-52).
14, Ashly Galante, Palm Harbor, Fla., 114 (13-56-35-10).
T15, Kayla Crawford, Silvis, Ill., 118 (23-26-26-43).
T15, Ashley Rucker, Bartlesville, Okla., 118 (36-18-20-44).
17, Amada Greene, Romney, W.Va., 120 (6-4-41-69).
18, Robyn Renslow, Brentwood, Calif., 121 (14-27-62-18).
19, Josie Earnest, Nashville, Tenn., 123 (1-56-60-6).
20, Julia Bond, Aurora, Ill., 125 (56-10-10-49).