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Bowling: Ciminelli starts well in Japan

Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga qualified for match play Friday in the Round 1 Japan Cup 2012 tournament going on this weekend in Tokyo.

Ciminelli posted the fourth-best total in the B Squad with 2,321 pins for 10 games. His total included a 270 game and a low game of 200.

One of 21 PBA Tour pros invited to compete for the Japan Cup, Ciminelli faced No. 29 seed Jim Ohtomo in the best-of-five, single elimination match play earlier today.

The Japan Cup returned to the PBA schedule after a two-year absence. A second Japan Cup, Round 2, in the extended 2012-13 PBA Tour season will be held next Nov. 28-30. It will be part of the current season because all PBA competition will return to a calendar year schedule as of Jan. 14, 2014.

Ciminelli joins an elite field of PBA Tour pros in Tokyo. Also invited were: Chris Barnes, Dom Barrett, Jason Belmonte, Josh Blanchard, Norm Duke, Mike Fagan, defending champion Tommy Jones, Mika Koivuniemi, Wes Malott, Amleto Monacelli, Bill O’Neill, Rhino Page, Osku Palermaa, Sean Rash, Ryan Shafer, Pete Weber, Stuart Williams and Walter Ray Williams, Jr.

It will be the 26th Japan Cup appearance in a row for Walter Ray Williams, who led the A Squad in qualifying with a 2,393 at Minami Suna Bowling Center in Tokyo, which also was the site for today’s match play.

Hiroshi Nagatani led the qualifying in the B squad with a 2,356 total.

Sunday’s finals, which will be taped for showing on ESPN at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20, will be held at Diver City Tokyo Plaza Bowling Center.

The winner will earn roughly $75,000 along with a PBA International Tour title.

Steelsmith is honored

Rick Steelsmith, who along with local products John Szczerbinski, Brad Kiszewski and Pat Healey Jr., is among those who have helped Wichita State’s men’s teams to the pinnacle of collegiate bowling.

Steelsmith is one of six inductees named for the USBC Hall of Fame.

Steelsmith was a four-time All-American and was the World Bowling Writers, International Bowling Media Association and Collegiate Bowler of the Year in 1987. He also claimed the USBC Masters title in 1987 and won the Regular All-Events and Team All-Events at the Open Championships in 1988.

Others elected include the late Frank Santore, a New York City and New York State Hall of Famer. Santore claimed three individual titles at the Open Championships in the 1950s. He won Regular All-Events in 1950 and ‘53 and Regular Singles in 1953, to go along with third-place finishes in Regular Singles and Regular Team in 1950 and a fifth-place team effort in 1949.

Other inductees for outstanding performance will be: Shirley Levens of Titusville, Fla., and Sandra Postma of Lansing, Ill. Don McCune of Las Vegas, Nev. was elected in the Veterans category. Tamoria Adams of Charlotte, N.C. was selected for meritorious service.

Besides 10 top-10 finishes in the Open Championships between 1968-74, McCune won eight titles on the PBA Tour, including six in 1973.

The induction ceremony will take place May 2 at the 2013 USBC Convention in Reno, Nev., and will include those elected from the national Superior Performance ballots. Doug Kent of Newark, N.Y., is among four nominees on the men’s ballot.