HENDERSON, Nev. - In the race to earn the fewest points possible, Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., and John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda, N.Y., lead the field at the 2013 United States Bowling Congress Team USA Trials.
McEwan leads the women's division with 16 points, while Szczerbinski is on top of the men's field with 24 points after Saturday's third round at Sunset Station's Strike Zone 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 Monday night.
In the final game Saturday, McEwan put together her best game of the tournament - 290 - to jump from 11th place into a tie for second for the day. That game kept her in first place by helping limit the number of points she accumulated in the third round.
So far, McEwan, the event's defending champion, has finished 14th, first and second in the three rounds to make up her point total of 16. She leads Missy Parkin of Fullerton, Calif., who is second with 20 points. Elise Bolton of Merritt Island, Fla., is third with 23 points.
"I knew I needed a big game, and I wanted for it to come to me and thankfully it finally did," said McEwan, who had a six-game total of 1,359 (226.5 average) in the third round. "I had a good look all day but just couldn't carry or get a string going until that last game."
While McEwan and Parkin finished tied for second in the third round on the 47-foot Paris pattern, it was Suzana Signaigo of Wichita, Kan., who took top honors on the day with 1,438, which included a 297 game.
On the men's side, Szczerbinski has finished first, 17th and sixth to put together his point total of 24. Defending champion Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., is second with 29 points, while Kyle King of Glendale, Ariz., is third with 48 points.
"I've had a very solid three days so far and I'm very happy with it, but I won't keep me from working hard the next two days," said Szczerbinski, who finished the third round with 1,415 (235.83 average). "I have to focus on making one shot at a time and making that one shot the best I can. I can't focus on the end result all I can do is stay in the present."
Steve Lemke of Nacadoches, Texas, who coaches collegiately at Stephen F. Austin, led the men's third round with a six-game total of 1,459.
Action shifts to the fourth round of the event, which will be contested on the 38-foot Atlanta pattern on Sunday. 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 2013 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 will be 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 North Pointe Junior Gold Championships held in July 2012. All bowlers 20 and under as of Jan. 1, 2013 are eligible for Junior Team USA.
For more information on the Team USA Trials, including live streaming, live scoring, full player stats and complete standings, visit BOWL.com/TeamUSATrials.