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College Station, Texas - After a grueling 144 arrows under a blistering sun, the top sixteen men and top sixteen women who will comprise the Shadow Team for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Archery have been selected. There were a few surprises during the first 72 arrows, where competition was particularly intense on the men's side of the field; after 72 arrows, just ten points separated the first seven archers.
On the women's side, Heather Koehl (WI) was the top shooter of the morning, shooting her way to a first place ranking after the opening half with a 631. She was joined in the top three by Jennifer Nichols (TX) with a 628, and Khatuna Lorig, fighting her way back to third after a miss in the first end, with a 621.
For the men, there was movement throughout the morning in the top four positions, with Jacob Wukie (OH) leading after the half with 654. Number one world ranked archer Brady Ellizon (AZ) followed in second with a 650; Jake Kaminski (CA) held the third position with 649.
The afternoon brought stormy weather to the field, and with two ends remaining, lightning postponed shooting for over two hours. Upon receiving clearance to re-enter the field, shooting resumed under the lights, with the competition still very hot on both sides of the venue.
At the end of the day, Ellison held the lead for the recurve men, finishing in the top spot with 1330, followed by Kaminski, shooting a 1317, and Wukie with 1316. For the women, it was Nichols who ended on top with 1277, while Leek shot a 1265 for second, and Koehl took the third spot with 1249.
The top sixteen recurve women following 144 arrows are Nichols, Miranda Leek (IA), Koehl, Lorig, Kristin Braun (CA), Mackenzie Brown (TX), Nicole Rasor (AZ), Lori Cieslinski (MI), Holly Stover (MI), Erin Mickelberry (WA), Mary Hamm (TX), Stephanie Miller (IL), Madison Eich (WA), Ariel Gibilaro (CT), Sarah Chai (NY) and Lauren Clamon (CA).
For the men, the top sixteen are Ellison, Kaminski, Wukie, Thomas Stanwood (MA), Butch Johnson (CT), Joe Fanchin (CA), Peter Kelchner (CA), Staten Holmes (TX), Michael Quayle (SC), John Magera (TX), Vic Wunderle (NC), Dan Schuller (PA), Daniel McLaughlin (OH), Matthew Zumbo (CA), Jeff Anderson (WA) and Joe McGlyn (NY).
"I feel good about the way I shot," explained Ellison at the conclusion of shooting. "The wind bothered me during the second thirty six arrows, but I shot well during the last thirty six." Ellison, with his standout season internationally, was considered a very strong contender for the top sixteen.
Koehl, a Resident Athlete who trains under National Head Coach KiSik Lee, was also considered an archer to watch. "I feel I did pretty well, I started out strong and finished strong and tried to keep it up despite the weather," explained the Wisconsin native. "I've been focusing really hard for this tournament, and I was just really determined to set the bar and shoot my best, and that's what happened today."
One of the surprises of today's competition was Clamon, a Junior Dream Team member and, at age fourteen, the youngest competitor on the field. Clamon, who clinched the sixteenth spot on the women's Shadow Team, was excited about her accomplishment: "I've been shooting for about three years. This (making the top sixteen) is what I wanted to do for sure, and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do it or not, but I'm glad I did. These past couple of weeks of training really helped."
All of the members of the Shadow Team will continue on to round robin match play on Friday and Saturday. Throughout round robin match play, archers will be ranked according to factors such as their three arrow end averages and wins or losses, as well as any bonus points earned during the ranking round. Complete 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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