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HAMILTON - Shooting conditions were absolutely perfect for the final day of qualification rounds in Joyce Park. The completion of the 144-arrow ranking round determined national champion titles for the senior archers and established rankings for all archers heading into elimination matches tomorrow.
Khatuna Lorig topped women's recurve to win the national title. Keeping it simple, she said her preparation was to "just shoot." Most importantly, she notd: "you have to believe in yourself in archery, if you don't believe in yourself, [your shots] won't be good."
Compound women's national champion Jamie Van Natta worked on her mental game, too. "I know I can shoot really good scores, I know I can do it and yesterday with the wind, it was challenging. So I spent most of last night mentally preparing for today, shooting shots in my head and saying 'you can do this.' This tournament has always been really good for me, I love it, so I just brought that into it. I was like, 'you love this, this is what you do, just go out there and have fun.' And I had a good time today."
With his second men's compound national title, Reo Wilde enjoyed the shoot today and is already looking forward to tomorrow's U.S. Open matches. "I just started shooting full time, I've been working a lot on my shot to make it feel more natural, more clean." Regarding tomorrow's tournament, he shared: "that's always the fun part; I like eliminations."
Brady Ellison, national champion for men's recurve, prepared for the tournament by experimenting with equipment and testing out different set-ups. His advice to young archers competing this weekend or who are interested in starting archery is to "work hard and follow your dreams."
Leading the youth field, Anna Miscione qualified first for the junior recurve women. "I was mostly working on relaxing, not focusing too much on score. [I tried not to] focus on anyone else or anyone else's scores, I just focused on myself and I was happy, I kept a good positive attitude. I'm excited for eliminations, just to shoot more. I've been shooting really well lately."
Junior men's recurve top qualifier, Caleb Miller, shot really well yesterday - enough to carry him through the second half today, "I've been working on a few problems I've been having, and making sure I'm feeling the exact same things with each shot. My lead from yesterday helped me make it through today; [it's important to] have a good coach and always keep working on technique."
After much working on technique, Lee Ford stepped off the line after the morning session, ecstatic with a new personal best and national title for the recurve standing women's division. "This is wild; they say it takes ten thousand hours to become a master of something, and my ten thousand hours is hitting this year. The hours I've been putting in have been ridiculous this year."
The top 64 archers in each category will compete in head to head elimination matches tomorrow. Adult archers will compete in the 2014 U.S. Open, while youth archers will shoot the elimination round matches of the Easton JOAD Nationals.
For the first time ever, select matches will be broadcast live - for free - on USA Archery's YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usaarcherytv. Live score updates for all matches can be found at http://ianseo.net/Details.php?toId=753 (Easton JOAD Nationals) and http://ianseo.net/Details.php?toId=752 (U.S. Open). Photos and other event updates can be found on USA Archery's Facebook page and Twitter feed.
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