2014 Team USA Team Trials – Day 1 Leader Board
With the start of a new year comes the opportunity for a fresh start. Courtney Parenteau and Rebekah Varin, my two daughters were looking to do just that. The interesting thing I’ve come to learn about team trials is not only the strength of the field but, the demanding format. 6 game blocks on different patterns each day is difficult enough. But, adding to the difficulty is the scoring system. Each day players are ranked based on their total pin fall for the block. The points assigned are based on that daily rank and accumulated across all five days of the tournament. So, in other words, the top seed earns one point for the day and that is added to the total for the four days of the tournament. Players are ranked based on that aggregate total. The players with the least amount of points are at the top of the list. This format eliminates the possibility of a player having an enormous day and running away with the tournament. It’s very challenging in deed.
Today was contested on WTBA Atlanta a 38’ foot pattern that places a premium on shot making. Courtney got out of the gate with a 254 followed by a 215 then a 198 and was in 4th place most of the block. The transition in game 4 was problematic and caused her to drop to 14th overall. She battled back with a 194 game but dropped to 18th. She put up a 224 in the last game and finished in 12th for the day. She was able to stay on her Brunswick Aura Paranormal all day (thanks Parker Bohn III). Courtney continues to mature as a bowler. All of the exposure to advanced tournament situations (nationally and regionally), bowling in challenging leagues, practicing on WTBA patterns, and working with Kim Kearney and Rod Ross at the ITRC has started to pay dividends. To say I was proud of her today would be an understatement. She was simply awesome today. I know this is a long format for a tournament and so does she. And we both know anything can happen in this tournament. But, if today is any indication of how her week is going to progress, this could be a breakout tournament for her.
Rebekah had goals of her own. This is her first attempt at team trials. Let’s understand something out of the gate, while there are a lot of Junior bowlers here this year, this is a very talented field, as it always is. So, while her numbers and current rank don’t look that impressive, she had moments of brilliance today. First off, she averaged 175 for the day. While that does not sound all that high, consider that averages around 180 usually make the cut for the Girls U20 division at Junior gold. Save for her last game she was averaging around 186; that in and of itself is success. She had a goal to average around 180-185 for the tournament. She is not far off that mark. She caught a couple of pairs today she had trouble with. Other than that she bowled very well. Her high on the day was 226 and at one point was ranked as high as 21. And as for the 175 average, that is the highest she has averaged in a national tournament to date. So, she has nothing to hang her head about whatsoever.
Bryan Bourget continues to impress as well. While he is not ranked all that high it’s just because he ran into a couple of snags today. I watched him for a little while this morning for all of game 2 of the block. He got off to a slow start with a 150+ score in the first game. But, Bryan roared back in game 2 with a 254. An impressive score to say the least but, what is most significant is his poise under such pressure. I’ve seen many players cave in mentally after such a start. I’m confident Bryan will be just fine tomorrow.
All in all a successful day on the lanes for our Rhode Island crew. Tomorrow they will be challenged with the 43’ Tokyo pattern. I’m excited to see them all do well tomorrow.