Junior Team USA girls take team gold at PABCON Youth

BOYS: Team | All-Events
GIRLS: Team | All-Events


SANTIAGO, Dominican Republic - After coming up empty in the three previous events, the Junior Team USA girls broke through in dominating fashion Friday to win their first gold medal of the 2011 Pan American Bowling Confederation Youth Championships.

The United States claimed the girls team gold medal with a six-game total of 5,151, which topped second place Mexico by more than 300 pins, at Cibao Bowling Center.

Jessica Earnest led the way with 1,415 and was followed by Kaitlin Quinn (1,312), Elise Bolton (1,252) and Danielle McEwan (1,172).

"For me as a college bowler, team is one of my favorite events to bowl," said Earnest, who competes collegiately at Vanderbilt. "You get to share something with three other people, and I think there's going to be a bond between the four of us forever because it's the first international gold medal for all of us. I think there's something special there and it hasn't sunk in yet."

Powered by 903 in the final game, Mexico took the silver medal with 4,824, while Colombia earned the bronze with 4,767.

In the boys team event, Puerto Rico took advantage of a more than 300-pin lead it had on the United States entering the final round to win the gold medal with 5,253. The Junior Team USA boys finished second with 5,053, while Mexico took the bronze with 4,908.

Marshall Kent paced the U.S. team with 1,284 and was followed by Andrew Koff (1,263), EJ Tackett (1,257) and Kyle King (1,249).

In all-events, the United States settled for the silver medal in both boys and girls. Tackett, who had a chance to throw all three strikes in the final frame to tie for the gold but went high on his second shot for an eight count, and Quinn each earned a silver. Koff took the bronze for the boys.

Tackett finished all-events with 5,227, while Puerto Rico's Cristian Azcona totaled 5,239 to win the gold. Koff finished with 5,155 to end up third.

On the girls side, Colombia's Juliana Franco took the gold with 5,049, topping Quinn's 4,877. Puerto Rico's Neishka Cardona earned the bronze with 4,822.

The top 16 players in the all-events standings advanced to Saturday's match-play Masters competition. All eight Junior Team USA members made the cut.

BOWL.com is providing free live coverage of the event and a complete schedule can be found on the homepage of BOWL.com.

At Cibao Bowling Center, Santiago, Dominican Republic
Friday's Results

(Six games)

Gold - Puerto Rico, 5,253
Silver - United States, 5,053
Bronze - Mexico, 4,908


Gold - United States, 5,151
Silver - Mexico, 4,824
Bronze - Colombia, 4,767

(24 games)

Gold - Cristian Azcona, Puerto Rico, 5,239
Silver - EJ Tackett, United States, 5,227
Bronze - Andrew Koff, United States, 5,155

Gold - Juliana Franco, Colombia, 5,049
Silver - Kaitlin Quinn, United States, 4,877
Bronze - Neishka Cardona, Puerto Rico, 4,822