Posted: 04/25/2017 02:09PM EDT
Sterling Heights, Mich. – The 2017 RecruitUS Collegiate Bowling Showcase presented by High 5 Gear, Bowler Connections, and ViQing Gear was a tremendous success as 220 high school bowlers got a step closer to finding their home after high school in an event that brought 24 collegiate programs together from across North America.
The event kicked off with an open house meet-and-greet session prior to competition in which athletes and their families could learn about each program in attendance before hitting the lanes.
Following the open house, athletes and guests got to hear from guest speaker and ViQing Gear representative D.J. Rose, who had a successful college bowling career at Concordia University, twice qualifying for the X-Bowling Intercollegiate Singles Championships.
“Enjoy today,” Rose told the high school athletes. “Today is an awesome time for you guys, something that personally I never got to experience having an event at a very affordable price to be able to come here and interact with a whole bunch of colleges, compete, and meet a whole bunch of valuable people all in one day. Take full advantage of it.”
Bowlers would compete in a four-game totals tournament on the challenging 2011 Bowlers Journal Championship Pattern (39ft.) via a separate guys and girls division. The top five bowlers on each side would be named to the inaugural RecruitUS all-tournament team and the top finishing freshman, sophomore, junior and senior bowler in each division would be honored.
On the guys side, Junior Keegan Ratobylski (Chippewa Valley High School / Clinton Township, MI) led the way with an 843 total pin-fall to be named tournament MVP. Senior male bowler of the year Erik Trigger (Mott Community College / Swartz Creek, MI) placed second with an 823 and Senior Jared Stevens (John Glenn High School / Westland, MI) finished third with an 801. Rounding out the all-tournament team were freshman male bowler of the year Alex Wiles (Bloomington High School / Bloomington, IN) with a 798 and sophomore male bowler of the year Vaughn Filkins (New Lothrop High School / New Lothrop, MI) with a 795.
In the girls division, Junior Brittany Ahlgrim (Warren Mott High School / Warren, MI) took home tournament MVP honors with a 745 four-game total pin-fall. Fellow Juniors Kalia Patterson (East Mecklenburgh / Charlotte, NC), Brooke Puckett (Roseville High School / Roseville, MI) and Janae’ Bradford (Lindblom High School / Chicago, IL) filled the next three spots with a 744, 739, and 702, respectively. Senior bowler of the year Tamera Robinson rounded out the all-tournament team with a 701. The sophomore bowler of the year was Miranda Walker(Warren Woods Tower High School / Warren, MI) with a 699 and the freshman bowler of the year was Taylor McBride (Lakeland High School / White Lake, MI) with a 668.
Following competition and the awards ceremony, bowlers were able to connect with coaches one last time through the final recruitment meetings to set up future arrangements in the collegiate recruiting process.
“We challenged them today with a tough lane pattern,” said RecruitUS President Kenneth DeGraaf. “That’s what it is going to be like out there so we did not want to shelter them from it. For some of them, it was the first time seeing anything like this. I am proud of how these athletes battled their way through and seemed in constant open communication with all the coaches in attendance. I cannot be happier with how this event went for its first year and we look forward to being even bigger and better next year.”
The 2018 RecruitUS Collegiate Bowling Showcase will likely be bumped back a month to May which will allow for more colleges to be present following the completion of the collegiate season. Any interested sponsors for the 2018 event should send their inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org. The event will likely utilize Sterling Lanes as its host center and become a two-day event with girls competing on the first day and guys competing on the second.
“I cannot thank everyone enough that came together to make this event possible,” concluded DeGraaf. “Our athletes of lesser profiled sports need an affordable platform to get recruited to the collegiate level and here at RecruitUS that is our passion. I look forward not only to growing on our bowling market but entering new markets as well. This is how it should be.”