Collegiate teammates take doubles lead at 2017 Open Championships Aaron Smith March 24, 2017 LAS VEGAS - As the United States Bowling Congress Collegiate program continues to grow stronger each year, the USBC Open Championships serves as a natural steppingstone for student-athletes to challenge themselves on the sport's biggest stage.This week at the South Point Bowling Plaza, a group of current and former collegiate players hit the lanes and put what they've learned to the test Friday as they rewrote the Regular Doubles standings at the 2017 event.Midland University teammates Nick Pate of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, and Casey Maxted of Gillette, Wyoming, led the effort, taking the lead with a 1,336 total.Pate fired games of 259, 235 and 266 to finish with a 760 set, while Maxted added games of 197, 218 and 161 for 576. They passed Chris Hibbitts II of Keller, Texas, and Clint Dacy of Fort Worth, Texas, who previously held the lead with 1,320. Bowling on the same pair of lanes, former University of Wisconsin-Whitewater teammates Jim Schroeder of Waukesha, Wisconsin (660), and Ryne Greenwood of Kenosha, Wisconsin (649), moved into third place with 1,309, and former Junior Team USA members Kyle Sherman of O'Fallon, Missouri, and Nick Kruml of Downers Grove, Illinois, took over fourth place with 1,298.Sherman, a former standout at Lindenwood University, started his doubles set with a 298 game on the way to a 699 set, and Kruml, a two-time National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association first team All-American at Wisconsin-Whitewater, had 599. Earlier in the week, Sherman rolled the first perfect game of the 2017 edition of the nearby Bowlers Journal Championships presented by USBC, but a 7-10 split on his final offering Friday denied him the first 300 of the 2017 Open Championships.Even though the six may have faced off while representing their respective universities, their ability to work together Friday helped give each duo a chance at the top spot."The communication was the greatest part," said Maxted, who made his first Open Championships appearance. "Going through the whole collegiate experience, you learn that you need to communicate with the people you're bowling with to be able to achieve big scores. Today, we did that well." Pate and Maxted, who both are seniors at Midland, recently helped the Warriors qualify for the Intercollegiate Team Championships for the sixth consecutive year. After a runner-up finish at the 2015 ITC, they hope Friday's performance is just a sign of bigger things to come when they lead the Warriors into Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for the 2017 ITC, taking place at the Raising Cane's River Center from April 19-22."It feels great to leave here with the lead, and hopefully, this is something we can all feed off of when we get to Baton Rouge," said Pate, who earned a spot on Team USA in 2017 during the USBC Team USA Trials in January. "Casey and I are seniors, so we're doing our best to lead the team and show them what it takes."Greenwood, Kruml and Sherman may have just missed the doubles lead, but their overall effort, along with Lynn Corey and Zachary Woelfel, was enough to push Every Kiss Begins With Kruml into the lead in Team All-Events with a 9,588 total. Classic Lanes Raisins of Milwaukee previously held the top spot with 9,360.Greenwood, who moved into second place in Regular All-Events with a 2,045 total, led the way, and he was followed by Kruml (1,941), Sherman (1,940), Corey (1,841) and Woelfel (1,821). Jacob Boresch of Kenosha, Wisconsin, leads Regular All-Events with 2,122.Every Kiss Begins With Kruml moved into sixth place in Regular Team on Thursday with a 3,040 effort and put together its biggest performance in singles, averaging more than 227 as a unit."It definitely was a slow start yesterday, but we needed to stay patient and let things come to us," Sherman said. "It's easy to get caught up if you're not carrying or breaks don't seem to be going your way, but we stayed patient, kept making good shots and put ourselves in a position to post a good number. It's a great feeling for us to take the lead, even though it probably won't stand. We're all kind of new to this event, so to do this well really shows all the hard work is paying off."Regular Doubles consists of bowlers with combined averages of 420 and above, while Regular All-Events includes bowlers with entering averages of 210 and above. Visit us on Facebook at the official USBC Open Championships Facebook page.