WYC: U.S. in contention in team event

Both the boys and girls Junior Team USA squads are in medal contention after the first day of the team event on Friday at the 2012 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Youth Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.

The U.S. boys’ team holds third place after the first three-game block, while the girls’ team is in sixth place. The competition continues Saturday as the four-player teams will bowl another three games; the top four boys teams and top four girls teams advance to the medal round on July 1.

“The coaching staff is extremely proud of their performance and we believe they are ready for the challenges of tomorrow,” Team USA head coach Rod Ross said. “The competition is very tight but the team looks strong, balanced and is in good spirits.”

USA boysMarshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., led the boys’ team with a 697 three-game series, the second-highest series in the first block. Andrew Koff of Miami had a 617, Zack Hattori of Las Vegas had 605, and Chris Via of Springfield, Ohio, rolled a 593 for a 2,512 team total.

Sweden, led by Daniel Fransson’s 722 series, leads the boys’ division at 2,631, Germany is second at 2,514, and Korea is fourth at 2,478, 34 pins behind the U.S.

USA girlsThe U.S. girls’ team was led by Kelsey Muther of Topeka, Kan., who had a 647 series that included a closing 243 game. Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., added 572, Jessica Earnest of Vandalia, Ill., had 568, and Amanda Greene of Romney, W.Va., had 551to give the team a 2,338 pinfall total. The team is 49 pins out of the final qualifying spot.

“The girls started kind of slow, and definitely were a little tight,” Ross said. “Everything has built up to this, and I was impressed of how they ended up, how they gathered their composure.”

Singapore, led by Krishna Darshini’s 685 series, tops the girls’ division at 2,583, followed by Korea (2,478), Chinese Taipei (2,400) and Malaysia (2,387).

Following the team competition, the top 24 boys and top 24 girls in All Events will advance to the Masters Finals on Monday. Kent is in second place, Via is 15th, Koff is 24th and Hattori is 53rd in the boys division. In the girls’ All Events standings, McEwan is 10th, Earnest is 11th, Muther is 23rd and Greene is 24th.

For more information on the 2012 World Youth Championships, visit WorldYouth2012.com.