After last season’s second place finish at the Junior College National Championships, there was only direction for the Suffolk County Community College men’s bowling team to go, up. Up towards distinction, up towards a national championship.
And up they went. Suffolk CCC dominated the 20-team field en route to a national title at Airport Lanes in Cheektowaga, N.Y. on Saturday. John Kavanaugh led the eight-man team, bowling a 266 high game. Michael Kissel rolled a 234 high game. James Tagliaferro added a 223 and Michael Ruben had a 222.
Kavanaugh and Tagliaferro also won the doubles national title, shooting a collective 1,234 over three games.
“This was the best team we’ve had in 20 years,” coach Ken Rao said. “We knew this was going to be the team that would do it for us . . . Last year we took second place and missed (a championship) by a little bit. This year we knew we would come back and win.”
Rao, along with his co-coach Rob Dertinger, were named coaches of the year.
In the women’s competition, SCCC’s Emily Clarke and Brianna Meyer placed second in the doubles competition. Meyer was second in the singles competition.
Clarke, Meyer, Kissel and Ruben were named to the All-American team.