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Barnes, Pluhowsky lead Team USA Trials after four rounds

Lucas Wiseman
USBC Communications
Published: January 7, 2014 | Bowl.com
2014 Team USA Trials Round 4 465
LAS VEGAS - Bowling stars Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, and Shannon Pluhowsky of Dayton, Ohio, found their way to the top of the overall standings Tuesday at the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials.

Heading into the event's final round, Barnes leads the men with 32 points, while Pluhowsky is tops among women with 29 points at The Orleans Bowling Center.

The players in the field earn points based on their finishing position in each round. After five rounds, the top three men and top three women with the least amount of points will advance to the stepladder finals Wednesday at 7 p.m. Pacific live on BowlTV.

Barnes has put himself in prime position to advance to the finals after finishes of seventh, 12th, second and 11th through four rounds. He needs to finish 31st or higher in Wednesday's final round to be guaranteed a spot in the finals regardless of how anyone else does.

Mike Fagan of Hurst, Texas, is second with 54 points and needs to finish ninth or higher to secure a spot in the finals. Jakob Butturff of Chandler, Ariz., is third with 62 points, while John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda, N.Y., is fourth with 63 points.

"I actually bowled much better today, but I just didn't score as well," Barnes said. "Unfortunately, I moved up today at the expense of others but that's the way this format works."

Pluhowsky has put together four solid rounds, finishing 13th, 13th, second and first to accumulate 29 points. Junior Team USA member Sarah Lokker of New Baltimore, Mich., sits in second with 40 points, while Brittni Hamilton of Wood-Ridge, N.J., is third with 50 points.

In the final round, Pluhowsky needs to finish 29th or higher to be guaranteed a spot in the stepladder finals regardless of how anyone else does. Lokker needs a finish of 18th or higher, and Hamilton needs to finish eighth or higher.

"I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing," Pluhowsky said. "I've done a good job of staying ahead of the moves and that's been a key for me. I just have to trust my instincts."

Action shifts to the final round of the event, which will be contested on the 40-foot Athens pattern on Wednesday. All rounds of the Team USA Trials are being broadcast live on BOWL.com's BowlTV.

The top three men and top three women after five rounds of qualifying will be guaranteed spots on Team USA in 2014 and will bowl in the stepladder finals for the right to be declared champion, a spot in the QubicaAMF World Cup and prize money.

Two more men and two more women from the event will be selected to join Team USA, while five men and five women will be selected from a pool of eligible bowlers based on their bowling resumes and Trials performance if they competed.

A total of eight Junior Team USA spots - four boys and four girls - also are available. The top two boys and top two girls in the final points standings will earn automatic spots, while two boys and two girls spots will be at-large selections taken from either the Team USA Trials field or the finals field from the Junior Gold Championships held in July 2013. All bowlers 20 and under as of Jan. 1, 2014 are eligible for Junior Team USA.

For more information on the Team USA Trials, including live streaming, live scoring and complete standings, visit BOWL.com/TeamUSATrials.

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