In a very tightly contested first day at the Track Kat Klash, the Sam Houston bowlers sit in seventh place in the 21-team field at Emerald Lanes in Houston.

Despite being three places away from a top four spot and a chance at claiming a second straight title in their home event, the teams are closely bunched and there will be plenty of room for movement on Saturday.

Just 29 total pins separates third-place McKendree (193.5 average) and the No.5 ranked Bearkats (192.3 average), an average of just one pin a game.

“The shots were demanding but very playable,” said head coach Brad Hagen. “As the day went on, the team got more comfortable playing the shape we needed to score well.”

On the day, Sam Houston went 4-0 and stands as one of just three unbeaten teams after the opening rounds. They opened the day with a win against Maryville and followed that up by beating North Carolina A&T. The Kats closed strong, scoring 994 and 996 in victories over Alabama State and Southern University.

“We have to fill frames on Saturday and be confident in our shots,” Hagen said. “Saturday’s rotation is very demanding but if we build on what we did today the results will show.”

Nebraska, who has won this event twice before, is the current leader with a 5-0 record and a 200.5 average. Maryland Eastern Shore is second (197.3) followed by McKendree, Central Missouri (193.4), SFA (193.2), Tulane (192.8) and the Bearkats round out the top seven.  

Saturday’s action will get underway starting at 9:30 a.m.