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September 30, 2011

Competition Intense at Olympic Trials

College Station, Texas - A twenty to thirty mile-per-hour wind in Aggieland is "just a breeze," according to one Texas native. The archery field at Texas A&M University, known for its windy conditions, earned its reputation today as the thirty two-member "Shadow Team" for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Archery took to the field to compete in round robin match play.  


The wind created surprising results for some archers in this first of three Nomination Shoots, and caused frustration for others. "It was a difficult wind to shoot in," noted Butch Johnson, the five-time Olympian and two-time Olympic medalist. "It was just a very tricky wind to deal with; it was strong and hard to manage." 


In the lead as of tonight, following eight matches, were Brady Ellison (AZ), Jake Kaminski (CA) and Johnson (CT) on the men's side, and Jennifer Nichols (TX), Miranda Leek (IA) and Khatuna Lorig (CA) for the women. Archers Peter Kelchner (CA), Staten Holmes (TX), Kristin Braun (CA) and Heather Koehl (WI) are following the top three closely in their respective divisions. With eight more matches remaining tomorrow, and two additional Trials events after that, it is clearly still anyone's game. 


Shadow Team members were selected yesterday based on their final placement in a 144-arrow ranking round, and after the cut to the top sixteen in each category, archers were awarded ranking round bonus points based on placement and, in some cases, the scores they shot. Over 140 archers took part in the ranking round, which was open to all archers who met the competition criteria. 


Archers shot the first eight of fifteen round robin matches today. Each male archer will shoot against every other male archer once, and the women will follow the same process. This allows archers to earn bonus points based on wins and losses, as well as their three-arrow average score. In both categories, the competition will continue to heat up as archers face off tomorrow. All of the archers in the thirty-two member Shadow Team will go on to compete in the Second Nomination Shoot, which will take place in April in Chula Vista, California. 


Complete results from today's matches are available by clicking here; U.S. Olympic Team Selection Procedures can be viewed by clicking here. USA Archery will be posting photos on Facebook, and results and updates on Twitter throughout the event. 

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