ARLINGTON, Texas - Though the United States has won more than 61 percent of the gold medals in the history of the Pan American Bowling Confederation Championships, members of Team USA won't take their competition lightly when the 2012 event begins next week.
Athletes from 18 countries will descend upon Sunset Station's Strike Zone Bowling Center in suburban Las Vegas for the 2012 PABCON Combined Championships, which will feature men's and women's teams. The event will serve as the qualifier for the 2013 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Championships.
Team USA will send a mix of veterans and newcomers to the event. Patrick Allen, John Janawicz, Steve Smith, Bill O'Neill, Tommy Jones and Marshall Kent comprise the men's team, while the women's team will have Liz Johnson, Stefanie Nation, Josie Earnest, Diandra Asbaty, Shannon Pluhowsky and Leanne Hulsenberg. The tournament marks the Team USA debut for Kent, Earnest and Hulsenberg.
"Regardless of our history, we work very hard all year to prepare for these events," said Nation, who won gold in singles and team at the 2010 PABCON Women's Championships. "The PABCON field continues to get stronger and stronger. With so many great players competing in this event, nothing is a given. We will have to work hard for every medal."
Since the start of the PABCON Championships, formerly the American Zone Championships, in 1961, the United States has claimed 106 of a possible 172 gold medals. Team USA leads the overall medal count with 220. Mexico has claimed 28 golds and 102 total medals to rank second.
Medals will be up for grabs in singles, doubles, trios, team, all-events and Masters next week will all the action being broadcast live on BOWL.com's BowlTV. Competition begins with singles on Monday at 8 a.m. Pacific.
For more information on the 2012 PABCON Combined Championships, visit BOWL.com/PABCON2012.