ARLINGTON, Texas - When the Team USA men head to Peru for the 2019 Pan American Bowling Confederation Men's Championships next month, their mission will be two-fold.
The first order of business will be to earn as many medals as possible in six disciplines - singles, doubles, trios, team, all-events and Masters competition.
Their trip to Lima, Peru's capital, also will give them a chance to collect intel on the newly opened Bowling Center at Villa Deportiva Nacional VIDENA, which will play host to the bowling portion of the Pan American Games in late July.
Team USA's roster for the PABCON Men's Championships will include a mix of youth and experience. The event is scheduled for April 22-28.
Nine-time Team USA member and 2019 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials winner John Janawicz of Winter Haven, Florida, will lead the group south and be joined by 2017 world champion AJ Johnson of Oswego, Illinois; Darren Tang of San Francisco; Nick Pate of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota; and a pair of Team USA rookies, Perry Crowell IV of Chesterfield, Michigan, and Sean Wilcox of Altamonte Springs, Florida.
"It's always great to be back on the team, and I'm definitely looking forward to another PABCON, which will be my fourth one," said Janawicz, who earned 11 medals in trips to the PABCON Men's Championships in 2007, 2012 and 2015. "I'm also looking forward to helping guide the team through it, especially the younger guys who haven't been to a zone championship before, and I hope we can bring home some more gold medals."
Janawicz knows how talented the players are and how prepared they'll be for the 41-foot Rome oil pattern they'll face for the week, so his advice for the novice travelers is more about enjoying the experience and the culture in Peru.
His first international bowling experience came after countless trips out of the country for work-related reasons, so he was familiar with the travel aspects, and he was fortunate to find quick success on the lanes, too.
"The bowling is the bowling, and solving lane conditions is the same if you're in Peru or the United States or anywhere else in the world," Janawicz said. "Yes, we're there to win medals, and I'm excited about working with these guys and learning each other's games a little better, but it's also important to make the most of the opportunity, take in the culture, enjoy the food and make new friends."
At the bowling center, Team USA head coach Rod Ross and the team members definitely will be taking notes about the facility, the lanes and their tendencies, and any other intricacies that may help Team USA find success at the summer's Pan American Games.
The Team USA men and women are in the midst of a two-part performance-based process that will determine the two men and two women who will represent the team at the Pan Am Games in July.
Anything they can learn during their time on the lanes, good or bad, will be valuable.
"Not only is the upcoming PABCON event a chance for some of the younger players to gain valuable international experience, it also can help us begin preparing for the Pan Am Games, which is a very prestigious event that only happens once every four years," Ross said. "Especially since the bowling center is brand new, the more we can learn in April, the more confident we'll be in July."
The PABCON Men's Championships will include teams from North, Central and South America and the Caribbean and feature six games in singles, doubles, trios and team, and the top performers overall will advance to Masters match play.
Success at PABCON events in 2018 and 2019 allowed countries to qualify for the Pan Am Games.
At the Pan Am Games, bowlers will compete in singles and doubles.
This year's Pan Am Games 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, and they are held every fourth year. The Games last were contested in Toronto in July 2015. Bowling made its debut at the event as a demonstration sport in 1983.
For more information on Team USA, visit BOWL.com/TeamUSA.