2018 PABCON Senior Championships concludes in Canada

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Complete results

ARLINGTON, Texas -
The 2018 Pan American Bowling Confederation Senior Championships wrapped up Friday at Let's Bowl in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and while the representatives from the United States got out to slow start, they were dominant the rest of the way, winning eight gold medals and 18 medals overall.

Sharon Powers of Lakewood, Colorado, led the effort for Team USA, medaling in all six events - singles, doubles, trios, team, all-events and Masters - and her success included wins in trios and all-events.

The 61-year-old right-hander just missed a third gold medal, falling to Team USA teammate Lucy Sandelin of Tampa, Florida, 2-1, in the best-of-three Masters final by scores of 209-201, 238-279, 222-192, but Powers said it was the most relaxed she felt all week because it was a win-win for the United States.

Powers' haul included silver medals in singles, doubles and team, while Sandelin's efforts also included a perfect game during the opening-round of Masters match play, additional gold medals in doubles and trios, silver in team and a bronze medal in singles.

"It has been a great year for me overall, and I was very grateful and excited to be invited to be a part of this team, especially after seeing who the other three ladies were going to be," said Powers, who won the super senior portion of the 2018 National Golden Ladies Classic. "I wish my mom could've been here to see this, since she's the one who got me into bowling, and it's nice see all the hard work and practice pay off."

The women's squad for the United States this week also featured Tish Johnson of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Paula Vidad of Sun City, California.2018PABCONSeniorsUSAWomenMedalsForWeb250x140

Vidad joined Sandelin in the doubles victory, and it was Powers, Sandelin and Johnson atop the medal stand for trios. Johnson capped her trip with the silver medal in all-events.

Powers was the week's overall performer on the women's side, taking the all-events gold medal with a 24-game total of 4,996, a 208.17 average. Johnson was second with 4,901, and Mexico's Maria Piccini was third with 4,867.

The top 16 women and top 16 men in the all-events standings advanced to their respective Masters match-play brackets. All matches featured a best-of-three format.

There were gold, silver and bronze medals up for grabs in each event, with the semifinal losers in the Masters event each receiving bronze, for a total of 38 medals.

The Team USA women claimed four gold, five silver and one bronze medal, and the Team USA men were close behind with four golds, three silvers and a bronze. Canada's Jill Friis was the women's singles champion, and Mexico topped the United States in the team event.

Team USA's Steve Badovinac of Parker, Colorado, picked up five medals at Let's Bowl, including gold medals in doubles, trios and team, but he also found something that couldn't be measured on the scoreboard or rewarded on the medal stand.

Having spent nine years of his life in Puerto Rico, the 50-year-old right-hander became fluent in Spanish. He was able to use that knowledge to help eliminate any language barriers this week among the players from nine countries.

The field in the senior division featured bowlers from Argentina, Bahamas, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico and the United States.

"We did all the things we needed to as a team to be cohesive and successful, but the overall camaraderie at the event and between all the different teams really made an impact on me," said Badovinac, who earned a silver medal in all-events and bronze in Masters. "I'm proud of what we did on the lanes, and I'm proud of what I was able to bring to the event from a cultural aspect in helping bring the teams together."

Badovinac was a leader on the lanes at Let's Bowl as well, helping Team USA edge Canada for the coveted team title by a 70-pin margin over six games. He averaged more than 237 in the effort, which also helped him make a run at the all-events title.

In the end, it was Team USA's Lennie Boresch Jr. of Kenosha, Wisconsin, who claimed the all-events gold medal with a 5,404 total for 24 games, a 225.17 average. Badovinac was close behind with 5,397, and Mexico's Salvador Suarez finished third with 5,353.

Suarez then went on to defeat Team USA's Warren Eales of Chandler, Arizona, 2-0 (227-209 and 195-171) for the Masters gold medal.

2018PABCONSeniorsUSAMenMedalsForWeb250x140Badovinac and Eales teamed for the doubles victory this week, and the two were joined by Boresch for the trios win. The final piece of the puzzle for the United States was Bob Learn Jr. of Spring Hill, Tennessee, whose lone medal was the team gold.

The Team USA men started the week with a silver medal from Boresch in singles, which was won by Canada's Joe Ciach, who owns a perfect game at the United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.

"Wearing the Team USA colors means the world to me, and I would've been incredibly disappointed not to have some kind of success this week," Badovinac said. "Being able to step up and deliver for my country was an incredible feeling. Being on the medal stand was indescribable, and to now be part of this team's long history is very humbling. I'm grateful for this opportunity and proud that I was able to handle the business I came here to handle. I hope I made everyone at home proud."

USBC Hall of Famer and USBC Gold coach Bill Spigner of Vernon Hill, Illinois, coached the Team USA squad this week.

The 2018 PABCON Senior Championships, for competitors age 50 and older, was the sixth edition of the event and was contested on the 41-foot Rome oil pattern.

The United States last competed at the PABCON Senior Championships during its inaugural edition in 2008.

The week also included the PABCON Super Senior Championships, which was held simultaneously at Let's Bowl. The United States was not represented in the Super Senior Championships.

The Super Senior version of the event first was conducted in 2013.