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Under hazy skies with steadily climbing temperatures, archers took to the field in Hamilton, Ohio today for the first day of the 126th US National Target Championships. Recurve men and compound women kicked off the tournament this morning, shooting the first half of their FITA round. Resident Athlete Jake Kaminski (CA) started out strong at 90 meters and never looked back, shooting a solid 319 to finish out the first distance. Fellow Resident Athlete and US Olympian Brady Ellison (CA) also shot a 319 for the first 36 arrows, with five-time Olympian Butch Johnson (CT) rounding out the top three with his 314. For the junior men, Josh Smith (CA) held the first place spot at the half with a 303; Matthew Zumbo (CA) moved into second with a 297, and Peter Kelchner (CA) completed the top three with a 296.
For the compound women, World Cup medalist Erika Anschutz (OH) finished 70 meters with a strong 344, followed by Samantha Neal (NY) with a 341 and Christie Colin (NY), who shot a 340. The junior women also posted solid scores, with Sarah Lance (MI) hitting a 340 to hold the top spot, followed closely by Kailey Johnston (GA) with a 339, and Tristan Skarvan (WI) in third with a 337.
In the recurve men's group, the top three remained unchanged during the day, as Kaminski, Ellison and Johnson maintained their positions throughout. Kaminski shot well enough during the second 36 arrows to break the previous national record for a 36 arrow round at 70 meters, hitting a 665 for the day; Ellison remained close behind with a 653, followed by Johnson, who shot a 644. For the juniors, there was some movement in the ranks, with Zumbo moving into the top spot with his 628; Smith ended the day in second with a 625, and Kelchner finished third with a 616.
Following the event's opening ceremonies, the recurve women and compound men began their qualifying rounds at long distances with significant heat and a variable breeze. Four time Olympian Khatuna Lorig (CA) led the pack after the first 36 arrows with a 329, followed by Olympic teammate Jennifer Nichols (TX) who shot a 327, and Deonne Bridger (AUS) with her 320. For the juniors, JOAD Grand Champion Miranda Leek (IA) led with a 322, followed by Nien-Hsiu Yang (TPE) with 311 and Holly Stover (MI) in third with a 305.
For the compound men, Jesse Broadwater (PA) shot a 342 for the half, solid enough to propel him to the top spot, while Darrin Christenberry (IN) held second with a 339. Tim Gillingham (UT) rounded out the top three with his 336. The juniors also fared well, with Garrett Abernathy (SC) leading, 327, followed by Ivan Harangozo (VA) with a 315, and Adam Gallant (ME) in third, 314.
Though clouds gathered over Hamilton, the rain held off just long enough for Nichols to shoot a 352 at 60 meters and set a new national record (unofficial). This put Nichols in the top position to end the day with a 679, followed by Lorig, who shot a 664, and Hye-Youn Park (CA) finishing third with a 649. Junior Leek also finished strong, with a 649; Yang secured the second place position with her 638, and Emily Blake (VT) shot well enough to move into third with a 619.
On the men's side, Broadwater hung on to the top spot, finishing with a solid 694, followed closely by Christenberry with a 693, and Ben Cleland (OH), third with a 686. For the juniors, Abernathy remained first, finishing with a 675; Henry Bass (UT) moved into second with 664, and Gallant rounded out the top three with his 659.
Archers from Masters 50, 60, 70 and 80-Plus age groups are also competing this week, in compound, compound fingers and recurve classes, as are some of the nation's best barebow archers. Continued coverage as well as live scoring can be found on the USA Archery website. Tomorrow: cadet, cub and bowmen archers shoot their first two distances, and the adults will shoot their shorter distances to complete the FITA round.
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