LAS VEGAS – Competing with teams aptly named Before the 1st Frame, a group of East Coast bowlers knew what they wanted to accomplish before lacing up for doubles Sunday at the 2017 United States Bowling Congress Open Championships.

They then executed their plan and successfully moved into the top two spots in Regular Doubles at the South Point Bowling Plaza.

New leaders Steve Arehart of Chesapeake, Virginia, and Charles Richey of Concord, North Carolina, were the first to strike, getting out to a quick start on their way to a 1,385 total. Arehart led the effort with games of 244, 238 and 224 for a 706 series, while Richey added 279, 252 and 148 for 679.

HansTroup_637Just minutes after finishing their own set, Arehart and Richey congratulated teammates Chris Hans of Battleboro, North Carolina, and Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, North Carolina, who posted 1,365 to move into second place. Hans rolled games of 259, 226 and 237 for a 722 series, and Troup added 216, 201 and 226 for 643.

Darin Craine of Flint, Michigan, and Robert Leser of Fenton, Michigan, previously held the lead with 1,342.

Working together proved to be the key for both groups, as Arehart and Richey averaged more than 253 as a pair through the first two games.

“We really worked together to break down the pair and did what the team wanted us to do,” said Arehart, who made his fifth USBC Open Championships appearance. “We worked with what the lanes were giving us and making a lot of good shots. To be leading means a lot.”

Richey ran into some trouble in Game 3, opening four times, but a strong start and help from Arehart kept the pair ahead of pace.

“Execution and staying on top of the moves got us to a great start, and I missed a huge jump,” said Richey, who made his eighth tournament appearance. “That final game could have been a lot more, and it definitely cost us, but I’m still really happy with 1,385. Being able to take the lead means the world to me, and it’s something that I’ll never forget.”

Hans and Troup, along with Richey, Ryan Whitney and Ryon Collins, started their team event Saturday slowly, before bouncing back with two strong games to help Before the 1st Frame 1 into 14th place in Regular Team with a 2,988 total. HoF Silver Lanes 1 of New Hartford, Connecticut, leads with 3,239.

The team felt their game plan and execution was better than the final score showed and knew a similar effort would translate to success in minors.

“We brought the momentum we had from those final two games into today and felt really confident about doubles and singles,” said Troup, who won the 2015 Professional Bowlers Association Wolf Open. “We bowled well all around today and worked together well, and to see Chuck and Steve take the lead here was a pretty amazing feeling.”

Hans was able to experience that same feeling at the 2012 Open Championships in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after taking over the doubles lead with Whitney before settling into ninth place. As the organizer for the four teams that headed out to Las Vegas, he believes the group will continue to find success and their names at the top of the leaderboard.

“I’m really excited for Chuck and Steve because I know the feeling, and it’s something you never forget,” said Hans, who made his 17th tournament appearance. “It was fun to chase them that last game, but we were rooting them on the whole time. I’m very proud of them, and our group, too. I hope their score holds up, but if it doesn’t, there will be an Eagle or two coming to this group before you know it.”

Troup led the way with an all-events total of 1,951, which moves him into 18th place. Arehart finished with 1,915, Hans had 1,909 and Richey ended with 1,897. Jacob Boresch of Kenosha, Wisconsin, leads Regular All-Events with 2,122.

Along with Whitney (1,853) and Collins (1,766), Before the 1st Frame 1 also moved into fourth in Team All-Events with 9,376. Vanilla Salsa of Roseville, California, leads with 9,743.

Regular Doubles consists of pairs with combined entering averages of 420 and above.

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