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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado - World Archery announced the finalists for the 2016 Athlete of the Year Awards this morning. Among the world's top competitors, six U.S. archers are in the top five of their category. Read the original announcement. Online voting is now open through December 31st.
"USA Archery is incredibly proud of our archers," commented CEO Denise Parker (Salt Lake City, Utah). "This was a remarkable year for us and we congratulate all of our very deserving nominees."
In the compound men's category, both Steve Anderson (Bountiful, Utah) and Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Massachusetts) were named to the shortlist. Anderson picked up his first international gold this year at the USA's best ever World Archery Field Championships. He also shot a personal best 711 in qualification this year and earned team gold and silver medals at the Medellin and Shanghai Archery World Cup stages.
Gellenthien also picked up some major international hardware in 2016 team gold medals at the Antalya and Medellin Archery World Cup stages and the individual title at the Indoor Archery World Cup in Nimes France. At the U.S. National Target Championships, Gellenthien had possibly his greatest accomplishment of the year: a near perfect 718/720 points to set a new world record for the 50m ranking round.
Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) is a strong contender for the best recurve male athlete of the year. After ending the U.S.'s 16-year individual Olympic medal drought with a bronze in Rio and his second consecutive Olympic team silver, Ellison earned both team and individual gold at the World Archery Field Championships. He won mixed team gold in Shanghai, individual gold in Medellin and team bronze in Antalya during the 2016 Archery World Cup circuit, earning himself a spot in the event Final where he won his fourth gold and fourth Longines Prize for Precision, becoming the first person ever to earn those honors four times.
On the indoor circuit Ellison cleaned the 2015-2016 Indoor World Cup Circuit with his third Final Champion title. He opened the 2016-2017 season with individual gold in Marrakesh following a world record qualification score of 598/600 - breaking a record that had stood for 15 years.
Crystal Gauvin (Dayville, Connecticut) is a finalist for the compound women's athlete of the year award. After finishing with both individual and team silver at the Medellin stage of the Archery World Cup, Gauvin won bronze at the Archery World Cup Final. Ranked No. 2 in the world, Gauvin also posted a strong 705 in qualification in the past year and competed on the U.S. World Field Championship Team.
Paralympic archers Andre Shelby (Jacksonville, Florida) and Lia Coryell (Lacrosse, Wisconsin) were also named to the men and women's short lists. Veteran Coryell earned a spot on the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Archery Team after 14 months of intense training with teammate Samantha Tucker. Coryell won bronze at the Parapan American Championships. Domestically, Lia is the U.S.'s only competitive W1 female archer and competes against the W1 men in most national competitions and is an inspiration to women around the world.
Shelby, a Navy veteran, became the first African American in history to medal in archery at the Paralympic Games. He also won the U.S.'s first compound open men's gold at the Paralympic Games, earning his first Paralympic Champion title at his first Games. Shelby won both team and individual gold medals at the Parapan American Championships. Domestically, Shelby won bronze in the para compound open men's division at the Arizona Cup, and bronze at the SoCal Showdown, competing against able-bodied archers.
To vote for these amazing U.S. athletes for the 2016 Athlete of the Year awards, visit awards.worldarchery.org.
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