ARLINGTON, Texas - Andrew Koff of Miami, the defending all-events champion, heads the list of eight Junior Team USA members selected to compete in the 2012 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Youth Championships this summer.
The World Youth Championships will take place June 22 through July 3 at the Blu-O Paragon Bowling Center in Bangkok, Thailand. Participants will compete for medals in five events - singles, doubles, team, all-events and Masters match play.
Joining Koff on the boys team are Zack Hattori of Las Vegas, Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., and Chris Via of Springfield, Ohio.
The girls team will consist of three-time Junior Team USA member Jessica Earnest of Vandalia, Ill., Amanda Greene of Romney, W.Va., Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., and Kelsey Muther of Topeka, Kan.
The selections were determined after members of Junior Team USA attended a training camp last week at the International Training and Research Center in Arlington.
"Narrowing down the roster to the eight we selected for the Youth World Championships was not an easy task," said Rod Ross, head coach of the Team USA program. "The talent level was extremely deep and that made it very tough for the coaching staff when it came to selecting the team."
Koff, a four-time member of Junior Team USA, will be taking part in his second World Youth Championships. At the 2010 event in Helsinki, Finland, Koff became the first United States bowler to win the gold medal in boys all-events at the World Youth Championships. He also teamed with Craig Hanson to capture the gold medal in doubles and helped the U.S. to the silver medal in the team event.
Kent and McEwan won the 2012 USBC Team USA Trials, the first time junior bowlers had swept the titles. Kent will be making his second tournament appearance for Junior Team USA. He won gold in trios and silver in team at the 2011 Pan American Bowling Confederation Youth Championships.
McEwan and Earnest also competed at the 2011 Pan American Bowling Confederation Youth Championships, winning gold in team. Earnest also won silver in doubles.
The World Youth Championships will be the first time Hattori, Via, Greene and Muther represent Junior Team USA in an international event.
Visit BOWL.com/juniorteamusa for information about Junior Team USA, including biographies on team members. Go to worldyouth2012.com for information on the 12th World Youth Championship.
The boys team members (Hattori, Kent, Koff and Via):
The girls team members (Earnest, Greene, McEwan, Muther):