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HENDERSON, Nev. - At the halfway point of the 2011 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials, Diandra Asbaty of Chicago and Mike Fagan of Patchogue, N.Y., remained at the top of the standings after 18 games.
Asbaty holds a slim seven-pin lead with a two-day total of 3,929, an average of 218.2, while Fagan leads with 4,192, an average of 232.8, at Sunset Station's Strike Zone Bowling Center in suburban Las Vegas.
Although Asbaty wasn't able to score quite as high on the 34-foot Stockholm lane pattern Wednesday, she had just enough to stay ahead of Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio. Pluhowsky, who has already been selected to join Team USA in 2011, finished with 3,922, while defending champion Brenda Padilla of Mansfield, Texas, is third with 3,907.
"There's still a lot of games to go, but I feel like I made some really good decisions today," said Asbaty, who totaled 1,901 for Wednesday's nine games. "Usually, I start this tournament slow but this year I came in thinking that I wanted to get as much as I can as early as I can. So far that's worked out for me."
Fagan holds a 27-pin lead over Scott Boyle of Salida, Calif., who has totaled 4,165 and retained his second-place position. EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., is third with 4,053.
"I definitely could have bowled better, and I got a couple of big games in the middle which let me hang around," said Fagan, who totaled 2,068 in the second round. "I'm looking forward to the long pattern tomorrow. I usually bowl well on the long patterns but I expect tomorrow to be tricky, too. I just have to keep an open mind and hopefully bowl well."
Competition continues Thursday with the third of four nine-game blocks. The top three men and top three women finishers after 36 games will earn automatic spots on Team USA, while the National Selection Committee will pick two additional men and two additional women to join the team.
The top two male and top two female competitors who are 20 years old or younger before Jan. 1, 2011 will earn automatic spots on Junior Team USA 2011. The National Selection Committee will select two additional boys and two additional girls to join the team. The National Selection Committee will select from players who either competed in the Team USA Trials or who advanced to the match-play portion of the USBC Junior Gold Championships, which were held in July in Indianapolis.
2011 USBC TEAM USA TRIALS
At Sunset Station's Strike Zone Bowling Center, Henderson, Nev.
(Top 5; 18 games)
1, Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 4,192. 2, Scott Boyle, Salida, Calif., 4,165. 3, EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 4,053. 4, Greg Geering, Clovis, Calif., 4,049. 5, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 4,034.
1, Diandra Asbaty, Chicago, 3,929. 2, Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio, 3,922. 3, Brenda Padilla, Mansfield, Texas, 3,907. 4, Brittni Hamilton, Webster, N.Y., 3,903. 5, Kim Yioulos, Rochester, N.Y., 3,882.