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March 10, 2011

Team USA Prepares for First Event of 2011 Season

Archery's outdoor "season opener" is now just days away, with sixteen members of the United States Archery Team (USAT) preparing to depart for the Copa Merengue de Tiro Con Arco World Ranking Tournament, scheduled for March 14-20 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Sanctioned by FITA, the Federacion Dominicana de Tiro con Arco (FEDOTA) and World Archery Americas (formerly COPARCO), the event is expected to host many of the world's top archers.  Team USA boasts a strong contingent of recurve and compound shooters, selected in order to give international competition experience to those USAT members ranked 5-8 at the time the USAT was selected.

On the recurve side, Team USA will be represented by Heather Koehl, Erin Mickelberry, Michelle Gilbert and Nicole Rasor for the women, and Jacob Wukie, Butch Johnson, Richard Tollis and Peter Kelchner for the men. For compound archers, Sarah Lance, Paige Pearce, Kendal Nicely and Diane Watson will comprise the women's team; Rodger Willet, Jr., Keith Trail, Ben Cleland and Garrett Abernethy will compete for the men.

This World Ranking Tournament will kick off on March 15 with official practice; archers will shoot a 144-arrow FITA ranking round on March 16, followed by individual Olympic Rounds for World Ranking and a Mixed Team event on March 17. Archers from teams which have not yet qualified spots for the Pan Am Games will compete to secure those spots on March 18, and Official and Open team rounds will take place on March 19 to conclude the event.

"We are excited to offer international competition opportunities to all of our USAT members this year," explains Robby Beyer, High Performance Manager for USA Archery. "Through this event, we ensure that our athletes who may not compete in the initial World Cup events of 2011 will obtain the international experience they need to help them improve their game. We are excited to kick off our 2011 season with the solid team traveling to Santo Domingo."

USA Archery will be offering updates as they become available, via Twitter and Facebook throughout the week; for more information, follow USA Archery on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/usaarchery

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