HENDERSON, Nev. – John Janawicz of Winter Haven, Fla., held on for a slim victory, while Brenda Edwards of Mansfield, Texas, pulled away from the field to win the 2010 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials on Friday.
Janawicz topped the men’s field with a 36-game total of 8,168, an average of 226.8, while Edwards finished with 7,890, an average of 219.1, at Sunset Station’s Strike Zone Bowling Center in suburban Las Vegas.
The men’s championship came down to the final frame as Janawicz watched Professional Bowlers Association exempt player Mike Fagan of Patchogue, N.Y., leave the 1-2-10 on his final shot in which he needed a strike to tie.
Janawicz, who led Fagan by more than 100 pins heading into the final two games, allowed Fagan to have a shot at catching him by shooting 159 and 183 to close out the tournament.
“I feel like I was very fortunate to come away with the win,” said Janawicz, a Team USA member in 2007 and 2008. “It’s a good thing I had a four-run lead going into the bottom of the ninth because I definitely gave up three runs down the stretch.”
Fagan could have won the title outright had he struck on his first shot in the 10th frame, but a stubborn 7 pin made it necessary for him to strike on the fill shot to tie. He finished second with 8,165, three pins behind Janawicz.
“I thought the first one was a very good shot,” said Fagan, who earned an automatic spot on Team USA by being among the top three finishers. “On that last shot, I lost it off my hand. The lanes got very touchy and you had to keep your speed soft. Whatever little bit of adrenaline I had didn’t help on that shot.”
On the women’s side, Edwards outdistanced the field in the final block and finished ahead of second-place finisher Kendra Gaines of Orlando, Fla., by 169 pins.
“This is my first big singles win ever, and I don’t know what to feel yet,” said Edwards, who like Janawicz was a member of Team USA in 2007 and 2008. “You dream about this. You write it down and convince yourself you can do it, and then to come out and actually make it happen feels amazing. I’ve been after this for a long time.”
The top three men and top three women in the final standings earned automatic spots on Team USA. Joining Janawicz and Fagan on the men’s side was third-place finisher Craig Hanson of Orlando, Fla., while Emily Maier of Wichita, Kan., finished third among the women to join Edwards and Gaines.
The National Selection Committee picked Tennelle Milligan of Arlington, Texas, Diandra Asbaty of Chicago, Cassidy Schaub of Polk, Ohio, and John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda, N.Y., to round out the final roster for Team USA in 2010.
Heading into the Team USA Trials, 13 players had already secured spots by virtue of their selection earlier this year. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Chris Barnes, Wes Malott, Tommy Jones, Patrick Allen, Rhino Page and Bill O’Neill make up the remainder of the men’s team. On the women’s side, Stefanie Nation, Shannon O’Keefe, Shannon Pluhowsky, Liz Johnson, Kelly Kulick and Carolyn Dorin-Ballard were selected.
The top two boys and top two girls finishers who are 20 years or younger before Jan. 1, 2010 also earned automatic spots on Junior Team USA. Hanson locked up the top boys spot, while Chris Pierson of Waukesha, Wis., was second. For the girls, Jenn Boisselle of Brandon, Fla., and Samantha Hesley of Wellington, Fla., were first and second, respectively.
The National Selection Committee polished off the Junior Team USA 2010 roster by adding Elise Bolton of Merritt Island, Fla., Christine Bator of Warren, Mich., Kyle King of Glendale, Ariz., and Devin Bidwell of Simi Valley, Calif., to the team.
At the USBC Junior Gold Championships in Indianapolis last July, 12 players earned spots on Junior Team USA. The boys group includes Mike Conn, Andrew Koff, Erik Gulbrandson, Chris Bardol, Jacob Peters and T.J. Baral, while the girls team includes Maggie Zakrzewski, Josie Earnest, Cassie Leuthold, Brittni Hamilton, Kristie Petravich and Kim Yioulos.
2010 USBC TEAM USA TRIALS
At Sunset Station’s Strike Zone Bowling Center, Henderson, Nev.
(Top 5, 36 games)
1, John Janawicz, Winter Haven, Fla., 8,168. 2, Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 8,165. 3, Craig Hanson, Orlando, Fla., 7,928. 4, John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y., 7,887. 5, Cassidy Schaub, Polk, Ohio, 7,875.
1, Brenda Edwards, Mansfield, Texas, 7,890. 2, Kendra Gaines, Orlando, Fla., 7,721. 3, Emily Maier, Wichita, Kan., 7,701. 4, Amanda Falk, Tucson, Ariz., 7,599. 5, Jenn Boisselle, Brandon, Fla., 7,586.