By Jennifer Roback
Members of Team USA are currently in Cali, Colombia, competing at the 2021 PANAM Bowling Adult Championships, where former collegiate teammates found success during the doubles event.
On October 18, 2021, former McKendree University bowlers, Lauren Pate and Breanna Clemmer, averaged more than 215 over the course of six games, and were able to bring home the gold medal, marking their first gold medals as members of Adult Team USA.
"Going in, we had a game plan about what we were going to do, and it worked out well for us," Pate told Bowl.com, adding that this was "the best birthday ever," as October 18th marked the bowler's 25th birthday.
Pate was a member of Junior Team USA back in 2017 but never competed for any medals, unlike her partner, Clemmer, who was a five-time member of the junior team and was able to win 18 medals in international competitions over the years.
Later on, Clemmer recalled their collegiate success and talked about what it meant to not only bring home the gold, but to do it with Pate by her side.
"We won two (collegiate) national championships together in 2017, but right now, I don't think anything can top this," Clemmer added.
"I got to do it with someone I've been able to grow with, and she continues to make me a better person. Thinking about all of it makes me emotional. To get to see her accomplish her dream is incredible, and to share it with her makes it even more special. She said she doesn't know if she can cry anymore, but I'm going to cry now and probably will cry more tonight."
As if winning a gold medal on your birthday with your former collegiate teammate wasn't enough excitement for Pate, she also got to share the stage with her brother, Nick Pate, who is also competing at the events, and took home the double gold with his partner, Kyle Sherman, just hours later.
On Tuesday, October 19, Pate and Clemmer will team up again with PWBA star Gazmine "GG" Mason as they compete in the trios event, in an attempt to bring home another medal.
The top four countries at the end of the event will automatically qualify for the 2022 World Games, set to be held in Birmingham, Alabama, giving the United States an automatic spot as the host nation.