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Calumet College top qualifier entering 14th consecutive national tournament
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MEN’S BOWLING | USBC INTERCOLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIPS

Calumet College top qualifier entering 14th consecutive national tournament

Pete Vergos, Calumet College

Pete Vergos

Quarantine was productive for Pete Vergos. Calumet College men’s bowling’s senior anchor couldn’t get out on the lanes but that didn’t mean he couldn’t better himself.

“I wanted to use it as a time to keep myself disciplined,” Vergos said. “I started counting calories. I was working out five times a week. I was just really staying committed.”

The result was a nearly 100-pound weight loss. It’s changed the way the Orlando native bowls.

“I actually feel like it’s destroyed my game a little bit,” Vergos said. “I was a very big individual so I had a lot of mass moving at once and I’m still trying to move at that same pace in a smaller frame.”

Vergos said he was a very aggressive, power bowler before the weight loss. He’s lost some of his revolutions and speed with less bulk. He had to become more of a shot maker.

“I’m not able to get away with as much now,” Vergos said. “I would’ve been able to overpower the lanes and get away with. Now, I feel like my shots have to be more crucial, to the point of perfection to get to my standards.”

In the long run, he still hopes it will make him a better bowler. What he is now, though, is something most collegiate keglers would love to be.

Vergos was the top individual qualifier at last week’s USBC Intercollegiate Team Sectionals. He opened the singles tournament with a 233 and finished first with a six-game score of 1,305.

“The mindset I went in was just about filling frames. I didn’t want to make any mistakes,” he said. “I just wanted to keep everything simple. I don’t know if I would bowl as good again nine times out of 10, but I’m happy for the one.”

Calumet College was the top qualifier as a team, too, despite an up and down first day. Coach Mike Kubacki said sparing was a struggle at times. The Crimson Wave was in fourth but rallied on the second day with an average over 220. Their 40-game total pinfall of 8,376 was good enough for first place.

It’s the 14th consecutive year of qualifying for Calumet College, a streak unmatched in college bowling.

“The one thing I love about college bowling is that there’s never a moment to give up or let off the gas. The scenery just goes by so quickly. Teams tend to lose sight sometimes and I’ve seen people take advantage of those instances,” Vergos said. “I’m not saying we can’t go through that again, but because we’ve come through it already we’ll feel confident and prepared knowing that we can do that.”

The roster is old, with five seniors, eight juniors and no freshmen. Kubacki believes that experience has made his team resilient, as it showed during the sectional.

“There’s a lot of maturity in this group, as far as lane time goes,” Kubacki said. “Because of the variety of types of players, when somebody is bad somebody else is good and vice versa.”

The Intercollegiate Team and Singles Championships will be held this week through Saturday in Wyoming, Mich. Senior Shaun Quinn Jr will also compete as an individual after qualifying fifth.

The Wave’s been working toward this moment since the season was given the green light a few months ago. Calumet College has never won a national title.

“We understand that it’s going to take a tall order to get what we want, but we’re willing to go that distance,” Vergos said. “I think singles is a great accomplishment but there’s no experience like being able to win as a team and share that with your teammates. That’s the ultimate goal and what will have lasting memories. I want to be able to remember a championship with my teammates.”

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