By Griffin O’Hara
SOFIA, Bulgaria – Despite struggling with mental hurdles throughout the Games, the U.S. Bowling Team went into men’s team play Tuesday with confidence.
Johnny McLean scored the highest of the four American bowlers, with 2249 total pin falls, which put him in 26th place. McLean sits 64 points behind leader An Seongjo of Korea.
“He’s still alive. He has a chance,” head coach Ed Abakumoff said. “It depends on what the others do. He doesn’t think so, but I’m thinking positive for him.”
Robert Ellison bowled the second-best U.S. score and placed 27th, with a total of 2246 points.
Dalton and Claborn, with 2106 and 2089 points, respectively, are 52nd and 55th.
“I was struggling in the beginning, and the problem was that I felt stressed and couldn’t aim well,” Dalton said. “After I finally got myself to relax, I almost hit a perfect game on the last game.”
Dalton wrapped up his last game with 279 points.
Wednesday, the U.S. women take to the lanes for team play at Mega Xtreme Bowling Center in the Sky City Mall.
“They’re looking forward,” Abakumoff said. “Looking forward to fighting and cooperating, and hoping to bowl better than they have.”
Jennifer Kutcka has a chance to make the cut for the Master’s games.
“If she can bowl well, she should be able to stay in,” Abakumoff said.