Four area bowlers to represent Team USA

Team USA members Haley Cummings, Chris Via, Shannon Pluhowsky and Sierra Kanemoto.
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Team USA members Haley Cummings, Chris Via, Shannon Pluhowsky and Sierra Kanemoto.

For the select few who earn the right to represent their country as a member of Team USA, whether it’s the first or the 15th time, the honor is overwhelming and the pride unmistakable.

Four Dayton-area bowlers are among that elite group this year — Shannon Pluhowsky, Chris Via, Sierra Kanemoto and Haley Cummings.

Pluhowsky, who has earned more than 40 medals with Team USA, was recently named to the team for a 17th consecutive time. She also spent four years as a member of Junior Team USA.

Via was recently tapped as a Team USA member for a second straight year. The Springfield native is also a two-time junior team member.

Both Kanemoto and Cummings will compete with Junior Team USA this year. Kanemoto, a Stebbins High School graduate and Wichita State University junior, is competing for a second consecutive year while Cummings, a Wayne graduate and Lindenwood University sophomore, is making her first appearance.

The bowlers share what being on Team USA means to them:

Shannon Pluhowsky: "It's an honor to be on Team USA and wear the red, white and blue. It's hard to describe the feeling of hearing the national anthem while on the medal stand. Someday, I hope bowling makes it into the Olympics so we can perform on the biggest international stage."

Chris Via: "Being able to represent my country — wearing the red, white and blue — is truly an honor. Competing against the best in the world and being part of a team that is able to compete at the highest level is a dream come true. I want to be able to set an example for generations to come by the way I carry myself. And I feel as if Team USA is the perfect place to do so."

Sierra Kanemoto: "Indescribable … unbelievable … a dream turned into a reality — that's what being a part of Team USA means to me. It's an opportunity and a blessing that puts everything into perspective. I've not only realized that I'm a part of something much bigger than myself and my sport — my country. I've realized that, although very much a cliché, anything is possible. It's like what Walt Disney said: 'All dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them' — with hard work, determination, perseverance and sacrifices."

Haley Cummings: "Being on Junior Team USA means more than words can describe. This is something I have worked for my whole bowling career up to this point and to finally have my dream come true is truly an amazing feeling. But this is only one goal checked off my list of many."

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