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July 13, 2018

JOAD Nationals Wraps Qualification in Sunny Raleigh

RALEIGH, North Carolina - The sun shined on a beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina summer day to wrap the second half of qualification at the 2018 JOAD Nationals. With nearly 800 archers competing for top honors the competition was hot.

With amazing shooting conditions, several national records fell yesterday. Alexis Ruiz broke the junior and senior records with a 706 her first 72 arrows, and then with her cumulative 144, she broke the junior record and tied the senior record with a 1403.

The top three junior recurve men all scored higher than the previous national record with Jackson Mirich taking top honors with a 1,307, over 40 points higher than the last standing record.

The competition was really tough," commented Mirich. "Coming into this tournament, I was struggling a lot but everything came together the last couple of days. Everyone else in my division shot really well and it was pretty close." On having the new national record, Mirich added: "I'm very blessed. This is my first nationals where I've ever done very well. I believe that anyone can turn it up when they want."

Cooper French and Connor Sears had a big back and forth lead over the compound cadet men's division with French taking the top qualification slot by just one point in the end with a 1,394. "The wind was a little bit tricky, but otherwise shooting was great and it was a lot of fun," commented French. "I had a general idea of how close the scores were but I tried to keep my mind off it and just shoot. The biggest thing for me is just training, maintaining consistency in my shots and focusing on a high arrow count."

It was Laura Hughes who topped the barebow junior women's qualification after two strong days of shooting, much improved today over yesterday. She shared, "I was having trouble getting my shot all the way around yesterday just because of the 'nationals adrenaline' but today I did better. I was able to go in and be more relaxed, talk to my friends all day, and have fun with the music. I think just focusing on staying calm will help with eliminations."

Birthday girl Katherine Wu celebrated turning 18 and ranking third in the junior recurve women's division. "I love being surrounded by everyone and doing what I love on my birthday; it couldn't be better," smiled Wu. "All the birthday wishes helped me today and just staying focused and keeping my head in the game was really important. I'm hoping to do well tomorrow so we'll see how it goes."

Competition continues tomorrow with elimination matches. Complete results and live scores tomorrow are available here. Photos are available here. Follow USA Archery on FacebookTwitterand Instagram for more from the event. Join the conversation with #JOADNationals.

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