Schwartz leads Junior Team USA as 2017 PABCON Youth Championships concludes in Mexico

ARLINGTON, Texas - Stephanie Schwartz of Racine, Wisconsin, put together an inspired effort for Junior Team USA at the 2017 Pan American Confederation Youth Championships, taking home four gold medals to highlight a week of competition in Monterrey, Mexico.

The 2017 event concluded Friday at Bol Obispado and featured countries from the American Zone split into two age-based divisions - 21-and-under and 16-and-under - for singles, doubles, mixed doubles (U16 only), trios (U21 only), team and Masters competition. Medals also were award for all-events.

Junior Team USA only competed in the U21 division.

The girls team, featuring Schwartz, Breanna Clemmer, Sydney Brummett and Julia Bond, cruised to the top spot in the medal count with a total of 11 medals, including gold medals in four of six events.

The boys team included Brandon Biondo, Jeffery Mann, Kennon McFalls and Cortez Schenck. The Junior Team USA boys matched Canada for the most medals with five but was unable to record a win throughout the week, taking home one silver medal and four bronze medals.

StephanieSchwartz_637Schwartz, a 21-year-old right-hander, kicked off competition Sunday by winning singles, and she teamed with Clemmer on Monday to earn the top spot on the medal stand in doubles. Schwartz, Clemmer and Brummett claimed gold in trios Tuesday, and Schwartz's overall effort for 24 games helped her to the all-events win with a 5,080 total, a 211.66 average.

"It felt really good to win gold for the first time, and it means the world to be able to do it in my final year on Junior Team USA," said Schwartz, who helped Stephen F. Austin win the 2016 NCAA Women's Bowling Championship. "I tried to stay calm, make great shots and knew my teammates were there to support me no matter what. I will always remember this moment, but I hope to have more opportunities to compete on the adult team in the future. I'm really grateful for all of the opportunities I've had in this program."

Schwartz also added a pair of bronze medals in team and Masters to finish off a dominating performance at Bol Obispado. Schwartz was the only player in either U21 division to medal in every event.

Previous opportunities to represent the United States at the 2014 and 2016 World Bowling Youth Championships and 2015 PABCON Youth Championships saw the four-time Junior Team USA member take home a total of five medals, but she was unable to strike gold along the way.

In her final Junior Team USA event, Schwartz put that previous experience to use and was able to break through.

JTUSAGirls_637In addition to Schwartz's collection of medals, the girls team also captured four silver medals (singles - Brummett; doubles - Brummett and Bond; all-events - Clemmer; Masters - Brummett) and one additional bronze medal (singles - Bond).

Schwartz, Brummett and Clemmer were part of the quartet that represented Junior Team USA at the 2015 PABCON Youth Championships in Panama City, while Schwartz and Bond competed at the 2016 World Bowling Youth Championships in Lincoln, Nebraska. In all, the four boast a total of 15 combined years of Junior Team USA experience.

"This was probably one, if not the most experienced teams we've ever brought to an international youth competition," Junior Team USA head coach Bryan O'Keefe said. "We were looking for great things from them this week, and they did not disappoint. They put together a pretty dominating effort, and even though team event didn't go the way we wanted, we're very happy with everyone's performance."

JTUSABoys_637The Junior Team USA boys were unable to successfully defend their team title from 2015, finishing third in Monterrey this week.

The team members also earned medals in singles (bronze - Mann), doubles (bronze - Biondo and Schenck), all-events (silver - Schenck) and Masters (bronze - Biondo).

In contrast to the girls team, three of the four members of the boys team were making their first appearances with Junior Team USA. Only Schenck had donned the red, white and blue in the past, competing at the Lee Evans Tournament of the Americas in 2014 and 2015.

"This was a very green group, and I think we saw a little of that," O'Keefe said. "It took them a little while to get used to the international feel and get their feet underneath them. The lane pattern played really tricky all week. For the first couple of days, we just struggled to make the right educated guesses. We always seemed like we were a day behind in what we had to do, but they put together a very gritty performance."

The group did accomplish some things that extend beyond the medal stand, and that includes gaining valuable experience in traveling and bowling internationally, especially as they look ahead to the 2018 World Bowling Youth Championships, where they'll welcome dozens of countries to their own home turf in Detroit.

"Each of them earned a medal, which is great for such a young group," O'Keefe said. "Unfortunately, we didn't get any gold, but we definitely have something to move forward and build upon as we head into the World (Bowling Youth) Championships next year."

O'Keefe was joined this week at Bol Obispado by assistant coach Andy Diercks.

Each event at the PABCON Youth Championships consisted of six traditional games with total pinfall determining the medalists. The top 16 boys and top 16 girls in the U21 division after 24 games advanced to Masters, which featured a single-elimination best-of-three bracket.

At Bol Obispado, Monterrey, Mexico


Gold - Felipe Gil, Colombia, 1,277
Silver - Joaquin Manrique, Uruguay, 1,264
Bronze - Jeffery Mann, United States, 1,254


Gold - Stephanie Schwartz, United States, 1,288
Silver - Sydney Brummett, United States, 1,272
Bronze - Julia Bond, United States, 1,195


Gold - Benjamin Martinez (1,232)/Sergio Villanueva (1,262), Mexico, 2,494
Silver - Alex Cote (1,158)/Jakob Bowden (1,325), Canada, 2,483
Bronze - Brandon Biondo (1,244)/Cortez Schenck (1,171), United States, 2,415


Gold - Breanna Clemmer (1,348)/Stephanie Schwartz (1,315), United States, 2,663
Silver - Julia Bond (1,198)/Sydney Brummett (1,178), United States, 2,376
Bronze - Sarah Klassen (1,096)/Tiffany Griffith (1,212), Canada, 2,308


Gold - Costa Rica (Alberto Quesada 1,337, Jonaykel Conejo 1,145, Toscano Luconi 1,275), 3,757
Silver - Peru (Alejandro Ishikawa 1,303, Sebastian Yuzuriha 1,244, Aldo Guibu 1,186), 3,733
Bronze - Canada (Alex Cote 1,229, Marc Antoine Caron 1,133, Jakob Bowden 1,331), 3,693


Gold - United States (Sydney Brummett 1,226, Breanna Clemmer 1,315, Stephanie Schwartz 1,204), 3,745
Silver - Costa Rica (Ericka Quesada 1,257, Fabiola Sandoval 1,071, Alexa Fernandez 1,114), 3,442
Bronze - Puerto Rico (Tayshaye Naranjo 1,148, Estefania Cobo 1,059, Sarah Sanes 1,223), 3,430


Gold - Canada (Alex Cote 1,181, Gavin Sum 1,259, Marc Antoine Caron 1,299, Jakob Bowden 1,137), 4,876
Silver - Costa Rica (Alberto Quesada 1,306, Jonaykel Conejo 1,219, Giancarlo Brenes 1,210, Toscano Luconi 1,121), 4,856
Bronze - United States (Brandon Biondo 1,108, Kennon McFalls 1,221, Jeffery Mann 1,194, Cortez Schenck 1,299), 4,822


Gold - Mexico (Paola Limon 1,207, Karla Salazar 1,114, Alejandra Amezcua 1,075, Raquel Orozco 1,200), 4,596
Silver - Colombia (Isabella Correa 1,149, Laura Plazas 1,202, Ana Olaya 1,142, Laura Garzon 1,097), 4,590
Bronze - United States (Julia Bond 1,074, Sydney Brummett 1,065, Breanna Clemmer 1,165, Stephanie Schwartz 1,273), 4,577


Gold - Alberto Quesada, Costa Rica, 5,083
Silver - Cortez Schenck, United States, 4,979
Bronze - Jakob Bowden, Canada, 4,977


Gold - Stephanie Schwartz, United States, 5,080
Silver - Breanna Clemmer, United States, 4,963
Bronze - Paola Limon, Mexico, 4,797


Gold - Jakob Bowden, Canada
Silver - Alberto Quesada, Costa Rica
Bronze (tie) - Brandon Biondo, United States; Sergio Villanueva, Mexico


Gold - Ana Morales, Guatemala
Silver - Sydney Brummett, United States
Bronze (tie) - Stephanie Schwartz, United States; Isabella Correa, Colombia