Team USA rosters take shape after champions crowned at 2024 Team USA Trials, U.S. Amateur

LAS VEGAS – The rosters for Team USA and Junior Team USA 2024 have been finalized after the completion of the 2024 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials and United States National Amateur Bowling Championships, which came to a close at Gold Coast Bowling Center in Las Vegas on Sunday night.

Julian Salinas of Richmond, Texas, and Crystal Elliott of Palm Bay, Florida, emerged as the newest U.S. Amateur champions after going 2-0 to win the stepladder finals in their respective divisions.

Darren Tang of Las Vegas and Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio, were the champions of the 2024 Team USA Trials competition, which consisted of 30 games over five days on five different challenging oil patterns.

In addition to the Team USA Trials and U.S. Amateur champions, six other competitors earned automatic spots on Team USA 2024 based on their strong performance this week at Gold Coast.

Throughout the event, players earned ranking points based on where they finished after each day of competition. The leader each day received one point, second place earned two points and so on with the lowest number of points after the five six-game blocks determining the 2024 Team USA Trials men’s and women’s champion.

Tang, a full-time competitor on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour, took home the Team USA Trials trophy for the second time in three years, and he attributed his excellent performance this week to feeling the healthiest he’s been in a while.

“Last year, I was having elbow and neck issues, and on the last day, I was feeling very sick in the morning, but I was fortunate enough to be selected. This year was a feeling of redemption,” said Tang. “Being able to not only win but share the moment with a lot of friends is awesome.”

His win this year was a 16 ranking point improvement compared to 2022, going from 67 points down to 51 while averaging over 11 pins higher per game. Tang averaged 231.3 for the week and was in the top six during four out of the five rounds of competition with a low finish of 31st on Day 4.

Despite trailing Tang in the final standings, Austin Grammar of Lake Wales, Florida (88 ranking points), Julian Salinas of Richmond, Texas (116), and Alexander Glinski of Greensboro, North Carolina (117), also earned automatic berths onto Team USA thanks to their strong performances at the Team USA Trials.

By winning his spot on the team, Tang will be on Team USA for the third straight year and fifth overall.

On the women’s side, Pluhowsky won her seventh overall Team USA Trials and second in three years while extending her own record of consecutive years leading at least one six-game block to eight years. She won U.S. Amateur titles in 2001, 2003 and 2004 and claimed Team USA Trials victories in 2011, 2015, 2022 and now 2024.

This year will be Pluhowsky’s 25th straight year on Team USA after beginning her international career on Junior Team USA in 2000.

For her 30 games of bowling this week in Las Vegas, Pluhowsky averaged 220.5 and earned only 44 ranking points.

Joining Pluhowsky on the women’s side of Team USA are Bryanna Cote of Marana, Arizona (60), Elliott (101); and Lauren Russo of Ballwin, Missouri (106).

Even though some spots on Team USA and Junior Team USA were locked up when the last balls of the Team USA Trials were thrown, Sunday’s action was far from over as there were still U.S. Amateur champions to crown.

Salinas already had an automatic spot on Junior Team USA due to his performance at the 2023 Junior Gold Championships in July while Elliott had an automatic spot on Team USA thanks to her efforts at Team USA Trials; nevertheless, both had bigger plans in mind during the stepladder finals.

Both qualified as the number two seeds for their respective stepladders with Elliott facing off against Kayla Verstraete of Loves Park, Illinois, and Salinas going up against Jacob Bockstie of Nottingham, Maryland.

Verstraete and Elliott traded opens during the early portion of their match, but Elliott stayed clean the last five frames to win 208-157 and move on to face Gianna Brandolino of Channahon, Illinois for the 2024 U.S. Amateur women’s title.

It was a low-scoring match as Brandolino had four opens while Elliott started with three straight splits. However, Elliott converted the third one, the 2-4-10, and continued to make spares from there to walk away with a 165-152 victory.

After her win, Elliott was fortunate enough to be able to celebrate with many of her Jacksonville State teammates.

“It felt really good having my teammates there supporting me,” Elliott said. “It’s been a goal of mine to be on Team USA, and it hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
On the men’s side, Salinas and Bockstie were part of a higher-scoring affair as Salinas threw the back nine strikes to win 258-210, moving him on to the title match against Grammar in a rematch of the 2023 Junior Gold Championships U20 semifinal match.

Grammar kept up with Salinas until an open in the eighth frame gave Salinas the chance to shut the door, which he promptly did to win the match by a score of 234-190 and secure the 2024 U.S. Amateur men’s title.

Since the U.S. Amateur champions are automatically placed on Team USA as long as they are age eligible, Salinas and Elliott didn’t need the spots that they earned by virtue of their positions in the final Team USA Trials standings; therefore, their spots were then passed along to the next-highest finishers in their respective divisions.

Salinas’ spot was taken by Kristopher Prather of Romeoville, Illinois, while Elliott’s was given to Brianna Andrew of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In addition to the bowlers who earned automatic berths onto the roster of Team USA, two men and two women were selected by the National Selection Committee based on their performances at the 2024 Team USA Trials.

Christopher Via of Blacklick, Ohio, and Matthew Russo of Ballwin, Missouri, were selected to join the men’s team while Hope Gramly of Aubry, Texas, and Ashly Galante of Palm Harbor, Florida, were added to the women’s roster.

The National Selection Committee also selected five men and five women to join Team USA 2024 based on submitted resumes.

The men’s team resume selections included A.J. Johnson of Kenosha, Wisconsin; Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, North Carolina; Jake Peters of Las Vegas; Patrick Hanrahan of Wichita, Kansas; and Spencer Robarge of Springfield, Missouri.

This year’s resume additions to the women’s team were Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, New York; Julia Bond of Lincoln, Nebraska; Breanna Clemmer of Lebanon, Illinois; Stephanie Zavala of Downey, California; and Jillian Martin of Stow, Ohio.

To be eligible for the adult version of Team USA, bowlers must be at least 18 years old by the end of that year’s Team USA Trials.

Those who weren’t age-eligible for adult team consideration this time around spent the week trying to secure spots on Junior Team USA 2024 and finish as high up as possible in the U.S. Amateur standings.

Boys earning the automatic spots on Junior Team USA for 2024 were Bockstie, Traeten Henrichsmeyer of Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Connor Breaman of Greer, South Carolina; and Zach Andresen of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Brandon Bohn of Jackson, New Jersey, and Bobby Habetler of Park Ridge, Illinois, were chosen by the National Selection Committee to join Junior Team USA 2024 based on their performances at the 2024 Team USA Trials and 2023 Junior Gold Championships.

They join the 12 boys who qualified for Junior Team USA through the 2023 Junior Gold Championships in the U20 and U18 competitions.

U20 - Nathan Smith, Noblesville, Indiana; Ryan Speer, Beech Grove, Indiana; Brendan Salo, Dayton, Ohio; Justin Bohn, Jackson, New Jersey; Carter Street, Dublin, Ohio; and Salinas.

U18 – Aidan Furukawa, Sunbury, Ohio; Andrew Robitaille, Pittsfield, Massachusetts; Braden Mallasch, Waupaca, Wisconsin; Christian Liquori, Merritt Island, Florida; Garrett Andrus, Austin, Texas; and Josh Hammons, Topeka, Kansas.

This year’s automatic spots on the girls’ team went to Mia Stolakis of Worchester, Massachusetts; Ashtyn Woods of Santa Rosa, California; Abigail Starkey of Schaumburg, Illinois; and Kaylee Back of Derby, Kansas.

Avery Domaguin of San Diego, California, and Elizabeth Teuber of Holly, Michigan, were selected for the girls’ team based on their Team USA Trials performances.

They join the 12 girls who qualified for Junior Team USA through the 2023 Junior Gold Championships through the U20 and U18 competitions.

U20 - Jillian Martin, Stow, Ohio; Jaelle Hamman, Jarrell, Texas; Jenna Stretch, Auburn Township, Ohio; Brystal Beyer, Ogdensburg, Wisconsin; Annalise Obryant, Ball Ground, Georgia; and Brianna Rogers, Florence, South Carolina

U18 - Brandolino, Karina Capron, Fremont, Nebraska; Kaitlyn Stull, Raleigh, North Carolina; Victoria Varano, Stony Point, New York; Erin Klemencic, Powder Springs, Georgia; and Katelyn Abigania, San Diego.

Four boys and four girls from the U15 competition at the 2023 Junior Gold Championships also earned the right to be a part of the Team USA experience in 2024 as members of the Developmental Team.

That list of players includes Braden McDonough, Coppell, Texas; Ernesto Reynoso, Folsom, California; Dylan Harnden, Shelby Township, Michigan, Matteo Quintero, Smyrna, Tennessee; Bella Castillo, Odessa, Texas; Malayna Calo, Riverview, Florida;
Larielle Tharps, Orlando, Florida; and Macy Jones, Shobonier, Illinois.

Bowlers age 20 or younger as of Jan. 1, 2024, were eligible for spots on Junior Team USA this week.

The 2024 Team USA trials featured a roster of 328 competitors where all bowled 30 games over five days (six games each day). Each day featured a different lane condition, ranging from 37-45 feet with different volumes of oil for the women and men.

BowlTV provided wire-to-wire coverage of the events, including the announcement of Team USA and Junior Team USA 2024.

For complete 2024 Team USA Trials results, CLICK HERE