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Team USA's Stefanie Nation leads singles at WTBA World Women's Championships

Team USA's Stefanie Nation leads singles at WTBA World Women's Championships
LAS VEGAS - Team USA's Stefanie Nation of Arlington, Texas, earned the top seed for the singles semifinals at the 2009 World Tenpin Bowling Association World Women's Championships on Tuesday.
Nation posted games of 228, 257, 205, 242, 206 and 223 for a 1,361 total at Cashman Center to set the pace on the first of the day's three squads and then waited patiently for the rest of the 228-player field to determine her fate.
Mexico's Sandra Gongora finished second with 1,357 and was followed by Denmark's Anja Jensen (1,347) and Finland's Krista Pollanen (1,345).
Representatives from 45 countries all rolled six qualifying games on the tournament's short pattern (WTBA Stockholm, 34 feet) Tuesday, and the top four players overall advanced to the semifinals, which will be held Thursday at 8:30 p.m. EDT. Nation will take on Pollanen, while Gongora and Jensen also will meet for a spot in the final. The semifinal winners will battle for the gold medal, and the losers will settle for bronze.
"When I looked up and saw my name up there on the leaderboard, I was amazed," said Nation, a five-time Team USA member who is competing in her third WTBA World Women's Championships. "I bowled well and did all I could in my power, and I was fortunate to be the squad leader. After that, it was out of my hands, and I could only hope that at the end of the day, it was me, or one of my teammates, or both, who were able to move on."
Nation is just back from 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung, Chinese Taipei, where she did not bowl as well as she would have like, but did benefit from the experience.
"It wasn't a great showing for me, but it was a great overall experience and a good way to challenge myself before coming to this event," said Nation, who was joined at the World Games by Professional Bowlers Association star Chris Barnes. "Some people might think it was bad timing going from one event to the other, but I took it as a good thing. It definitely helped me get into the right frame of mind."
The rest of the Team USA women were sprinkled throughout the standings with Liz Johnson leading the way with 1,303. She finished 14th overall and was followed by Carolyn Dorin-Ballard (23rd with 1,276), Lynda Barnes (tied for 57th with 1,218), Wendy Macpherson (tied for 80th with 1,201) and Kim Terrell-Kearney (tied for 133rd with 1,143).
This year's tournament marks the first time professionals are allowed to compete at the World Women's Championships, and all competitors will compete in singles, doubles, trios, team and Masters competition before the event concludes Sunday. Medals also will be awarded for all-events.
Competition continues Wednesday with three squads of doubles beginning at noon EDT.
USBC plans to live stream portions of the event on, and bowling fans around the world will be able to watch the finals and select semifinals.
By Matt Cannizzaro
USBC Communications

2009 WTBA World Women's Championships
At Cashman Center, Las Vegas
Tuesday's Results
(Six games; top four advance to semifinals)
1, Stefanie Nation, Arlington, Texas, 1,361
2, Sandra Gongora, Mexico, 1,357
3, Anja Jensen, Denmark, 1,347
4, Krista Pollanen, Finland, 1,345
5, Clara Guerrero, Colombia, 1,339
6, Siti Safiyah, Malaysia, 1,327
7, Maxine Nable, Australia, 1,324
8, Maki Nakano, Japan, 1,321
9, Robin Orlikowski, Canada, 1,313
10, Tina Hulsch, Germany, 1,312
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