Former collegiate bowler notches 300 game at 2016 USBC Open

By Matt Cannizzaro and Christian Seaborn
USBC Communications

RENO, Nev. -
Undeterred by a slow start Tuesday at the National Bowling Stadium, Justin Dunn of Deland, Florida, and his teammates patiently navigated the 38-foot team oil pattern at the 2016 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships and finished the night in memorable fashion.

Dunn, a 23-year-old right-hander, and Nicholas Pate of Inver Grove, Minnesota, combined for 21 strikes in the final game, with Dunn closing the effort with the sixth perfect game of this year's USBC Open Championships.

The two helped Team Harvey II of Henderson, Nevada, to games of 891, 1,048 and 1,151 for a 3,090 total, and while the score is short of the top 10 this year, it's a good momentum builder for the young team.

"The first game, there was just not the right surface on the ball, but by the second game, with a little less surface, it got better, and the lanes opened up quite a bit," said Dunn, who made his third Open Championships appearance. "By the third game, I was working for more front-to-back motion, rather than sideways. We all had a really good look. I certainly thought it was possible to get the 300."

Patience and team play are two things the group learned while competing collegiately.

Dunn, a former standout at Webber International, was recognized as a 2014-15 National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association All-American (honorable mention) and was a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) second-team All-American in 2016.

Pate excelled at Midland, including most valuable player honors at the 2015 Intercollegiate Team Championships, while teammate Cristian Azcona found success a year earlier as he helped Lindenwood to the 2014 ITC title.

Dunn finished Tuesday's team event with games of 202, 228 and 300 for a 730 series and was joined by Azcona (668), Pate (645), John Rubeo Jr. (546) and Ari Wilson (501).

The group's star-studded companion team, which included 2013 Regular Singles champion Zeke Bayt, Team USA member Erin McCarthy and Professional Bowlers Association champion Eugene McCune, also saw the night get progressively better on the way to a 3,149 total. The team had games of 957, 1,023 and 1,169. of Phoenix leads Regular Team this year with 3,300.

Bayt, whose Open Championships title came at the NBS, led the way for Team Harvey I with a 722 effort and was followed by McCune (636), Michael Villarreal (628), McCarthy (582) and Deeronn Booker (581).

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