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HENDERSON, Nev. - Mike Fagan of Patchogue, N.Y., and Diandra Asbaty of Chicago took the lead after the opening round Tuesday at the 2011 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials.
Fagan topped the men's field with a nine-game block of 2,124, an average of 236, while Asbaty shot 2,028 for her nine games, an average of 225.43, on the 40-foot Athens lane pattern at Sunset Station's Strike Zone Bowling Center in suburban Las Vegas.
After finishing second last year by three pins to John Janawicz, Fagan leads left-hander Scott Boyle of Salida, Calif., who is second with 2,070. Tyler Herrman of Harrisburg, Pa., is third with 2,034.
"It feels good to be the leader in the clubhouse," Fagan said. "I went through almost every ball in my arsenal today. I made the right decisions and was able to bowl some big games. I legitimately used five different strike balls, and I only came with six balls. Needless to say, the lanes broke down a lot."
Asbaty is competing in her first major event since giving birth to her first child, Madden, in August. The 12-time Team USA member leads 2010 USBC Junior Gold Championships winner Brittni Hamilton of Webster, N.Y., who is second with 1,977. In third place with 1,956 is defending champion Brenda Padilla, who won the event last year as Brenda Edwards but was married on New Year's Eve in Mansfield, Texas.
"This is Madden's first tournament and that's really special to me, so to come out and bowl so well feels great," said Asbaty, a member of Team USA for the past 12 years. "I also made a big change to a new ball company. I have a lot of support from them, and I feel fortunate for the new opportunity with some balls that really match up to my game."
Competition continues Wednesday with the second of four nine-game blocks. The top three men and top three women finishers after 36 games will earn automatic spots on Team USA, while the National Selection Committee will pick two additional men and two additional women to join the team.
The top two male and top two female competitors who are 20 years old or younger before Jan. 1, 2011 will earn automatic spots on Junior Team USA 2011. The National Selection Committee will select two additional boys and two additional girls to join the team. The National Selection Committee will select from players who either competed in the Team USA Trials or who advanced to the match-play portion of the USBC Junior Gold Championships, which were held in July in Indianapolis.
2011 USBC TEAM USA TRIALS
At Sunset Station's Strike Zone Bowling Center, Henderson, Nev.
(Top 5; nine games)
1, Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., 2,124. 2, Scott Boyle, Salida, Calif., 2,070. 3, Tyler Herrman, Harrisburg, Pa., 2,034. 4, Steve Smith, San Diego, Calif., 1,989. 5, Jarret Mizo, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1981.
1, Diandra Asbaty, Chicago, 2,028. 2, Brittni Hamilton, Webster, N.Y., 1,977. 3, Brenda Padilla, Mansfield, Texas, 1,956. 4, Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 1,952. 5, Christine Bator, Warren, Mich., 1,909.