By T. Anthony BellApril 17, 2018
FORT LEE, Va. (April 17, 2018) -- The Air Force men and Army women reigned supreme on the lanes, staking respective claims to the 2018 Armed Forces Bowling Championship titles Monday at the TenStrike Bowling Center here.
James McTaggart was the standout player for the USAF men. He placed second in the singles category, first in doubles and second in mixed doubles. Rose Aguilar, USA, dominated on the women's side, finishing atop each category.
The Navy team, which finished second in both the men's and women's all-events category, had the best combined score, however, there is no official recognition for its accomplishment.
McTaggart -- who also topped Aguilar in the one-game, winner-takes-all king and queen category -- said victory was sweet for his teammates.
"The four of us put together 24 amazing games," boasted the airman representing Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. "We knocked down most of our spares, had fun and struck a lot."
Air Force, Army and Navy participants bowled 12 games during the preceding trial camps April 11-12 and another 12 games during the armed forces tournament that began Friday. Each service's top four bowlers from the trials went on to compete in the championship
Aguilar, billed as one of the most successful Army bowlers in history, said her women's squad had one goal in mind prior to the contest -- winning the team title.
"This is my sixth time coming out, and every year we want to win the team event," said the Soldier assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas. "To be able to accomplish that today is amazing."
Chandres Bolden, who competed last year for the Army women, said teamwork and resilience attributed to her team's victory.
"We could be down, miss a shot or have a wash out -- but guess what? We always came together as a team," said the San Antonio, Texas-based career counselor. "We always gave each other props and praise on good and bad shots; so that's how we rose above it."
Steve Barinque, who has coached the Air Force to several titles over the past 10 years, said he is proud of his Airmen and noted their success has much to do with what happened prior to the event.
"They were prepared," said the Family and MWR bowling manager out of Joint Base San Antonio. "Prior to the tournament, I drilled most of their bowling balls and shipped them back. I also coached them throughout the year."
Barinque, who oversees the armed forces event, also said the tournament coordination and operation was top-notch.
"The unofficial tournament director/monitor doesn't take anything away from the managers running the facility, but of all the centers I have worked with for the tournament, this was hands-down the smoothest one run to date," he said.
It was the first time Fort Lee hosted a bowling trial camp and Armed Forces Championship. Its TenStrike Bowling Center is among the Army's newest recreational facilities, opening in August 2017 with a construction cost of $12 million.