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Father and son take doubles lead at 2014 USBC Open

Matt Cannizzaro and Aaron Smith
USBC Communications
Published: March 20, 2014 | Bowl.com
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RENO, Nev. - The father and son duo of Russ and Dillon Meyer of Fargo, N.D., started strong at the 2014 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships and edged into the Regular Doubles lead with a 1,318 total Thursday at the National Bowling Stadium.

Dillon, a 22-year-old right-hander, led the way with a 706 series, while Russ, a 55-year-old right-hander, added 612. Jason Aikens of West Branch, Mich., and Darris Wiltse of Las Vegas previously held the top spot with 1,316.

The Meyers averaged more than 230 during their first two games on the 40-foot Sport Bowling-certified lane condition but ran into transition and carry issues during the third game. Dillon delivered a key double in the ninth frame and first shot of the 10th, and Russ filled 20 pins in the final frame to sneak past the number.

"I was keeping track pretty close," said Dillon, who made his fourth USBC Open Championships appearance. "I knew when we got to the last few frames that we needed a double. It's awesome to take the lead. I'm bowling with my dad, and that's the coolest thing in the world. It almost felt like shooting 300 because I was so nervous. I had to calm down after that because we still had to bowl singles."

Dillon continued striking in singles, and his overall effort for the week, including 687 in singles and 668 in team, moved him into fourth place in Regular All-Events with 2,061. Curtis Odom of Coldwater, Mich., leads with 2,076.

Both Dillon and Russ credited the group they bowl with in their success on the championship lanes. At the 2013 Open Championships, their crossing team, Action Realty 2, left the NBS with the lead in Regular Team and Team All-Events, while Dillon and Russ' team, Action Realty, sat in third in both events.

"We have a good group of guys," said Dillon, who now holds a lifetime average of 217.3 at the tournament. "We have 10 guys that play pretty much together. We start in the same area, break them down and move together as a group. That's the biggest thing. If you don't work together and everybody ventures out, it's going to be a long day. I really give a lot of credit to the guys I bowl with."

After Dillon's overall of performance, he now holds bragging rights over his father, who posted a career-high all-events total of 2,022 at the 1998 Open Championships, also held at the NBS. More importantly, though, is the chance for them to share this moment on bowling's biggest stage.

"It's a great feeling," Dillon said. "It's our first time shooting 1,300 at Nationals. It's not going to be enough, since there's a good shot out there and a lot of good bowlers left to come. But to leave here with our names on top of the leaderboard, is the coolest feeling in the world."

Russ, who made his 31st consecutive tournament appearance, added 605 in team and 568 in singles for an all-events total of 1,785. Over the course of his Open Championships career, he has maintained a 201.1 average.

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