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NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., and Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., claimed titles Friday at the United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials, earning the right to compete in the 2012 QubicaAMF World Cup.
Kent and McEwan topped their respective fields in a grueling four-day, 28-game format in which the players in the field earned points based on their finishing position each round to determine the final standings.
With daily finishes of third, 32nd, second and sixth, Kent finished with 43 points, while McEwan had daily finishes of fifth, fifth, second and third to total 15 points at Texas Star Lanes.
The women's final came down to a single pin as McEwan just barely edged Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga, N.Y. Johnson finished with 16 points, but had she gotten just one additional pin in Friday's final round it would have been enough to win the title. Johnson finished the final game with back-to-back open frames.
"With this format and it being as close as it was, I wasn't really as nervous as I probably should have been because I wasn't exactly sure of the situation," said McEwan, who competes collegiately at Fairleigh Dickinson. "I came out here wanting to make Junior Team USA and to make Team USA and win is a really great feeling."
With his sixth-place finish in Friday's final round, Kent was able to outdistance the men's field. Steve Smith of San Diego finished second 57 points, which was 14 points behind Kent.
"It's unbelievable to be able to come out and perform the way I wanted to," said Kent, the 2010 USBC Junior Gold champion who bowls collegiately at Robert Morris-Illinois. "My mental game this week was probably the best it has ever been in my entire life, and that is what kept me in the game."
The top three men and top three women in the standings earned automatic spots on Team USA for 2012. Joining McEwan on the women's team was Josie Earnest of Nashville, Tenn., and Diandra Asbaty of Chicago. Johnson, who finished second overall, was not eligible to occupy one of the automatic spots because she had previously been selected for Team USA 2012. On the men's side, Kent is joined by Smith and AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill.
The National Selection Committee added two men and two women to Team USA 2012. Jarret Mizo of Honolulu, John Janawicz of Winter Haven, Fla., Tammy Turner of North Ogden, Utah, and Leanne Hulsenberg of Roseville, Calif., were selected.
The additions to Team USA on Friday bring the total roster to 20. The National Selection Committee added Patrick Allen, Chris Barnes, Tommy Jones, Bill O'Neill, Sean Rash, Liz Johnson, Kelly Kulick, Stefanie Nation, Shannon O'Keefe and Shannon Pluhowsky in November.
Junior Team USA spots were also up for grabs at the Team USA Trials with McEwan, Rachel Gittings of Glen Allen, Va., AJ Johnson and Chris Via of Springfield, Ohio, earning automatic spots. The National Selection Committee added Tyler Cruz of Tacoma, Wash., Kamron Doyle of Brentwood, Tenn., Kaitlin Quinn of Livonia, N.Y., and Kelsey Muther of Wichita, Kan.
There are now a total of 20 Junior Team USA members as 12 players got spots at the USBC Junior Gold Championships last July. The new members join Addileen Pointer, Elise Bolton, Holly Harris, Amanda Greene, Natalie Jimenez, Jessica Earnest, Kent, AJ Chapman, Andrew Koff, Gary Faulkner, Zack Hattori and Tyler Vostry.
A total of 225 bowlers are competed this week with 145 in the men's field and 80 in the women's field. It's the highest entry count for the event since 2007 in Reno, Nev., when 233 bowlers took part.