Clarke University sophomore Morgan O'Brien, of Lomira, Wis., became the university's first Olympian Monday with a 13th place finish at the 2013 Team USA Trials in Las Vegas, Nevada. As the second best youth qualifier not already on Junior Team USA, O'Brien earned a spot for the 2013 junior national squad. Junior Jacob Boresch, of Kenosha, Wis., finished at 47th of 171 men in his respective division.
"I've been lucky to have great recruits on both squads in such a short period of time, but getting them here is just part of the equation," said Clarke Head Bowling Coach Chris Uffman. "The performances at Team Trials, especially Morgan earning her junior team spot, they really say more about the extra time and practice that players put in to their sport. I am very proud and happy for both her and Jake."
Comprised of 30 games over five days, each day on a different Sport oil condition, the Team USA Trials determine five of the team's spots for both men and women, as well as four boys and girls for Junior Team USA. After each day's round, players are awarded points equal to their finish in the field, with the top performer for each block earning one point. Rather than awarding only high scoring, the point system is employed to measure consistency and versatility. The top three players in each division with the least points who are not already on Team USA earn automatic spots, and are joined by two other players from Team Trials, chosen by a selection committee. Junior Team USA awards automatic spots to the top two youth bowlers who aren't already on the squad, with two additional players in each division being selected from several national events.
O'Brien posted scores of 1197 (21st place), 1249 (13th place), 1208 (27th place), 1329 (5th place) and 1170 (37th) to finish the event with 103 points, earning an automatic spot for Junior Team USA. Diandra Asbaty of Chicago, Ill. topped qualifying with a point total of 43, making her record 15th appearance on Team USA. In the men's division, Boresch put together pin totals of 1333 (17th place), 1240 (45th place), 1237 (79th place), 1135 (106th place) and 1318 (21st place) to finish with a point total of 268. John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda, N.Y. was the top qualifier with 31 points.
As part of Team USA, players participate in specialized training at the International Training and Research Center in Dallas, Texas, with the junior squad competing over the Summer at the PABCON Youth Championships in Santiago, Dominican Republic as well as the Tournament of the Americas in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Both players will be back in collegiate action this weekend in Addison, Ill. for the Eagles Baker Challenge.