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NEWBERRY, Florida - At the penultimate day of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Archery, final nomination shoot, Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) and Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas) maintained their strong holds on the top positions. As other archers solidified their placement in the rankings, several others majorly shook things up with many points up for grabs throughout elimination matches and a team round simulation.
Rumor has it that the numbers are in Ellison's favor and he should be a lock for Rio. He commented: "I haven't personally run the numbers yet, but a couple of people have come up and told me that fourth place can no longer catch me. So that being said, I'm probably a lock and going to my third Games in Rio. I'm excited about it, but I still have seven more matches to win tomorrow and then we have to get ready for Turkey."
On the women's side, Brown has held a lock on the top spot since the first stage of the Trials last September and has never looked back. Now 13.5 points clear the rest of the field, Brown is looking strong for the U.S. Olympic Team. Brown was supported on the field today by her proud dad who said, "It's awesome to be able to share in your child's successes."
"I was really excited about how I shot during the team round simulation today," commented Brown. "I was actually trying to keep up with the guys' scores more than the girls' just because I know that if I'm keeping up with the guys, I'm probably going to do well on the girls' side too. I know I'm very capable of shooting this score and higher; I shot a 334 today and so I was really excited to do it in competition. I feel very confident in how I've been shooting and I'm excited to see what God has in store for me tomorrow."
During competition today on the women's side, Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, California) made major moves moving from 5th place into 3rd after a gold finish in the elimination matches and the second highest score in the team round simulation. Lorig is aiming for her sixth Olympic Team, but is focused on the long road between now and the Games. The U.S. women have only qualified one of a possible three slots for the Games this summer, but will have one last chance to earn the additional two at the Archery World Cup in Antalya, Turkey this June.
"I'm satisfied, trying not to be too excited because I like to stay in my archery bubble," commented Lorig. "It's not over yet, but I'm very happy. Making the top three is not yet a 100% guarantee, just going to Turkey, we have to do again what we did in Ogden before 2012," Lorig reflected on the London Games when the U.S. women also earned their final two quota slots at the last chance qualifier at the Archery World Cup in Ogden, Utah. "It's a lot of tension, but you have to block the negativity out of your head, stay positive and in your archery bubble and do your best."
Daniel McLaughlin (West Chester, Ohio) also had a big jump on the men's side today, moving from the 7th position into 5th after a strong finish in the team round simulation. "I started pretty rough this week and it's really refreshing to have a good performance and see some progress. I just got back into my shot; it was feeling a little sub-par in the beginning of the event, and through yesterday with the Gator Cup OR's and during the lunch break today, I just got back to the basics and things just started to work the way they're supposed to."
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