Team USA Sweeps Doubles in Mexico, Qualifies for World Games

by Bob Johnson 0

Matt Cannizzaro
USBC Communications

Stefanie Johnson, Shannon Pluhowsky, Tommy Jones, Chris Via (l-r.)

ARLINGTON, Texas - Four members of Team USA entered the Pan American Bowling Confederation Champion of Champions event in Puebla, Mexico, with one major goal in mind: Qualify for the 2017 World Games.

The group was able to accomplish that in memorable fashion, claiming seven medals along the way this week at Noria Pro Bowling.

The 2016 PABCON Champion of Champions event consisted of singles, doubles and Masters competition, and Team USA was represented by Stefanie Johnson, Shannon Pluhowsky, Chris Via and Tommy Jones.

Pluhowsky and Via found their way to the medal stand in singles, earning silver and bronze, respectively, while everything fell into place for doubles, allowing the United States (Pluhowsky/Johnson and Via/Jones) to sweep the gold medals.

The 16-game totals (eight games of singles and eight games of doubles) determined the eight men and eight women who advanced to Masters match play. Pinfall was reset, and the top four on each side, based on their seven game totals, including 20 bonus pins per win, advanced to the final bracket.

Johnson and Via were able to add to Team USA's medal count with Masters silver, while Pluhowsky earned bronze.

"We went to the Champions of Champions event focused on qualifying for the World Games in 2017, and to hopefully win some medals along the way," Team USA head coach Rod Ross said. "We were able to achieve both those goals, but to sweep the gold medals in the doubles event was exhilarating, and it was an honor to be part of that."

Each zone/continent is able to determine exactly how bowlers will advance to the 2017 World Games, scheduled for July 20-30 in Wroclaw, Poland.

PABCON chose to advance the top three from each event at the Champion of Champions and final two from PABCON (combined) Adult Championships, which will take place in Cali, Colombia, in September.

The World Games take place every four years in the year following the Olympic Games. The event showcases more than 25 sports, and approximately 4,500 athletes and officials from more than 100 countries take part. The athletes will compete for the gold medals in almost 180 disciplines during the event.

Since the World Games began in 1981, the United States has won one gold, three silver and three bronze medals in bowling. Kelly Kulick and Mike Fagan broke through for Team USA's first World Games gold medal when they teamed to win Mixed Doubles at the 2013 event in Cali. Kulick also earned the silver medal in singles.

At Noria Pro Bowling, Puebla, Mexcio
April 22-26, 2016

Final results

Women's Singles
Gold - 
Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 1,840
Silver - Shannon Pluhowsky, United States, 1,770
Bronze - Kamilah Dammers, Aruba, 1,763

Men's Singles
Gold - Manuel Otalora, Colombia, 1,828
Silver - Ildemaro Ruiz Jr., Venezuela, 1,825
Bronze - Chris Via, United States, 1,790

Women's Doubles
Gold - Stefanie Johnson/Shannon Pluhowsky, United States, 3,541
Silver - Clara Guerrero/Rocio Restrepo, Colombia, 3,507
Bronze - Patricia De Faria/Karen Marcano, Venezuela, 3,270

Men's Doubles
Gold - Tommy Jones/Chris Via, United States, 3,532
Silver - Jaime Gonzalez/Manuel Otalora, Colombia, 3,512
Bronze - Fridegotto Massimiliano/Ildemaro Ruiz Jr., Venezuela, 3,482

Women's Masters
Gold - Rocio Restrepo, Colombia
Silver - Stefanie Johnson, United States
Bronze - Shannon Pluhowsky, United States
Bronze - Clara Guerrero, Colombia

Men's Masters
Gold - Francois Lavoie, Canada
Silver - Chris Via, United States
Bronze - Jaime Gonzalez, Colombia
Bronze - Gabriel Sanchez, Puerto Rico

For complete results from the 2016 PABCON Champion of Champions event, visit

For more information on Team USA, visit

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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