2019 PABCON Youth Championships underway in the Dominican Republic

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - The 2019 Pan American Bowling Confederation Youth Championships officially got underway Sunday afternoon with a formal opening ceremony at the Sebelen Bowling Center.

Bowlers from 14 countries participated in the traditional march of teams, and competitors, friends, family and bowling fans were treated to some authentic Dominican entertainment.2019PABCONYouthOpeningDanceForWeb250x140

The opening ceremony also included well-wishes from local and PABCON dignitaries and the player and referee oaths, while the official first balls of the event were thrown by two Dominican athletes who recent found success on the Special Olympics international stage.

Competition at the 22-lane bowling center, which previously hosted the 2018 PABCON Women's Championships, will begin with singles, starting Monday at 8 a.m. Eastern.

2019PABCONYouthOpeningTeamsForWeb250x140The event includes two age-based categories - 16-and-under and 21-and-under - though the United States only will be represented in the U21 category.

The U21 field this week will include more than 80 competitors representing 12 countries on the boys side and 11 countries in the girls division.

Bowlers will compete for medals in singles, doubles, trios, team, all-events and Masters competition.

The Junior Team USA boys roster includes Tom Hankey Jr. of Great Barrington, Massachusetts; Anthony Neuer of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania; Cortez Schenck of Phoenix; and Sean Wilcox of Altamonte Springs, Florida.

The girls team features Mabel Cummins of Elburn, Illinois; Kaitlyn Eder of Lithia, Florida; Caitlyn Johnson of Rockwell, North Carolina; and Kamerin Peters of Toms River, New Jersey.2019PABCONYouthOpeningOathForWeb250x140

Junior Team USA head coach Bryan O'Keefe and Team USA assistant coach Andy Diercks will lead the teams this week in Santo Domingo.

PABCON includes competitors from North, Central and South America, along with the Caribbean.