LAS VEGAS - One way to measure the strength of Vanderbilt's bowling program is to consider the number of Commodore-related competitors at the USBC's Team USA Trials, an event that attracts America's best professional, amateur and youth bowlers.
Where once Vanderbilt had no presence in national tournaments, seven current Commodores and one alumnus are among the 152 women who have been competing at this year's trials at the Gold Coast Bowling Center. After three days and 18 games, several Vandy representatives are in the upper end of the standings.
Associate Head Coach Josie Barnes, a long-time member of Team USA, was fifth after the third round, averaging 212.39 as she bids for her sixth Team USA berth. Wichita native Sydney Brummett was leading, averaging 219.94.
Vanderbilt's Adel Wahner and Jordan Newham have been consistently impressive and their spots on the leader board reflect it. Wahner, a member of Junior Team USA now gunning for a place on Team USA, was 15th (209.83 average) while Newham is 24th (202.28). The senior is aiming for a Team USA berth.
Freshman Angelique Dalesandro has also had many bright moments; the Illinois product was in 29th after those 18 games.
Other current Vandy bowlers include Samantha Gainor, Braeden Abrahamsen, Bryanna Leyen and Elizabeth Ross.
Standings are compiled not by total pins or average but by the sum of individual day finishes. This has been a system thought to help measure the true strength of each bowler.
The competition ends Monday evening with a stepladder for the top 16 finishers. The top four women (and men) earn automatic places on Team USA and Junior Team USA with two additional members chosen by the National Selection Committee.