CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – The Westmoreland County Community College men's bowling captured its fifth consecutive WPCC Championship and followed that by winning the Penn Highlands Regional Championships before finishing the season at the NJCAA Championships.
The Wolfpack claimed another WPCC title on Feb. 21st, their fifth in a row, sixth in the last seven years and eighth title overall for the program. It was a team effort, with Westmoreland claiming three of the top six spots in the All-Events Standings and four in the top 10. Leading the way was Zack Hartmann, who scored 1,869 to finish second in All Events. His late charge came up just short, as he scored 706, which was more than 100 pins ahead of the next highest score in five-man but fell only 53 pins behind CCAC's Justin Schmitt for the top spot.
Hartmann would take second across the boards, as he teamed with Alex Wheeler to earn runner-up in doubles and then took second in singles. Hartmann earned All-Conference accolades, as did Chris Gaia, who scored 1,398 to take fifth place and Wheeler, who scored 1,326 to place sixth overall, while Nate Pawluk earned 10th place. In addition to the three all-conference performers, head coach John Rahl was voted as the WPCC Coach of the Year.
The Wolfpack has an even better performance the following week at the Penn Highlands Regional event, as they swept the team title, as well as Hartmann taking first in All-Events and Singles. Hartmann also teamed with Gaia to take second in doubles, as their total of 1,041 was only 15 pins behind first place.
Westmoreland dominated singles action to pull ahead of the field overall. Hartmann rolled the high score in two of the three games in singles, including a match-best 207 in the third game to finish at 540 for first place. Taking third in singles was Wheeler at 484 and Gaia was fourth with a score of 467. Hartmann also went high score in five-man, bowling 644 for the series, which completed his comeback to overtake Schmitt for first in all-events, as Hartmann edged out Schmitt 1,721-1,692.
It was a good all-around day for the entire Wolfpack team with all five players placing in the top nine. Gaia took fourth place overall, while Pawluk and Wheeler went sixth and seventh and Austin Douglas took ninth place.
The Wolfpack finished the season by returning to NJCAA Championships at Airport Lanes in Cheektowaga, N.Y., and placed 14th out of 22 teams. Hartmann was again the top bowler for Westmoreland, as he finished 75th out of 122 bowlers. The team finished in a close pack overall, as Gaia was 78th, Wheeler took 78th, Douglas was 83rd and Pawluk finished 90th.