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October 22, 2010

Team USA Sets Records, Wins Medals at Pan Am Championships

Team USA, featuring a mix of Olympians, United States Archery Team members and Junior Dream Team members, set out for the Pan American Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, hoping to qualify spots for the United States in the 2011 Pan Am Games. After six days of competition, they will return to the U.S. having qualified spots for two full recurve teams, in addition to setting ten new event records and winning 59 gold medals, 34 silver and 7 bronze.

The Pan American Championships, held at the Pan American Archery Stadium in the Revolucion Sports Complex, served as a test event for the Pan Am Games and hosted archers from sixteen different countries. The event was open to cadet, junior and senior division archers in both compound and recurve divisions, and featured a challenging one-day, 144-arrow FITA ranking round, followed by days of Olympic round competition for teams and individuals.

Olympian and current #1 world ranked archer Brady Ellison began his week on a high note, qualifying first during Sunday's ranking round with a record-setting 1346, medaling at 30 and 50 meters and setting new records at both distances. He was followed by Juan Serrano (Mexico), qualifying second with a 1340, and USA Archery Resident Athlete Jacob Wukie, who finished third, shooting a 1333. National Champion Jake Kaminski scored a 1326 to end the day in fifth, while USAT member Thomas Stanwood took sixth with his 1319.  Team USA's final victory of the day was a team qualification score record with a collective 4005.

For the women, four-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig retained a solid lead throughout the qualifying round and ended the day in first place with a 1344. In addition to medaling at 30, 60 and 70 meters, Lorig also set new records at all three distances as well as for the qualifying round score. Lorig was followed by Ana Rendon (Venezuela), scoring a 1311 to secure second place, and Aida Roman (Mexico), finishing third with a 1310. Team USA's Kristin Braun climbed steadily through the ranks during the day to end in sixth with a 1293; fellow Resident Athlete Heather Koehl shot a 1292 to qualify 7th, while cadet Miranda Leek, shooting as a senior for this event, scored 1283 points to finish 11th. The women's final collective score of 3928 also represented yet another team qualification record. 

Team USA's sole entry in the male junior recurve category was Nathan Yamaguchi, who shot a 1215 to qualify tenth. Jafet Farjat of Mexico led this group, scoring 1268 points to qualify first. On the women's side, Michelle Gilbert finished in first with a score of 1271; teammate Mackenzie Brown, shooting a 1202, ended in eighth place, while Kiley Larrick took 13th with her 1176, and Heather Trafford placed 17th, shooting an 1129. Male cadet recurve archer Daniel McLaughlin made a strong showing for the United States, medaling at 70 and 60 meters to qualify first in his group with a 1335. Teammate Matthew Zumbo, medaling at 30 meters, ended in third, shooting a 1314, while fellow Junior Dream Team athlete Chris Luman shot a 1062 to qualify 15th.

During the second day of competition, archers took to the field for team Olympic round matches. The male cadet team of McLaughlin, Zumbo and Luman shot well enough to advance to the gold medal match, where they fell to Mexico, taking the silver medal. The women's junior recurve team of Gilbert, Brown and Trafford fared similarly, earning a silver medal after their own loss to the Mexican team.  Senior women Lorig, Braun and Koehl, advancing to the gold medal match after a 212-196 decision over Venezuela, also faced Mexico, who defeated the U.S., 209-204. Men's recurve team members Ellison, Kaminski and Wukie, clinching a berth into the gold medal match after a ten-point victory over Cuba, proceeded to defeat Canada to win the gold medal and set a new record with their winning score of 225-216.

Team USA continued its winning streak in individual Olympic round match play. For the cadets, McLaughlin defeated Hector Sansores (Mexico) to win gold with a 140-136 victory, while juniors Gilbert and Larrick earned gold and bronze medals, respectively, for their own Olympic round wins. For the recurve women, Lorig remained strong throughout her matches, eventually meeting Jalleen Bravo (Venezuela) in a contest for the bronze medal, which Lorig won with an 81-70 victory. On the men's side, Ellison, Kaminski, Wukie and Stanwood all advanced as far as the quarterfinals, in which Kaminski was defeated by Crispin Duenas (Canada), and Stanwood was retired by teammate Wukie, 114-110. Both Ellison and Wukie won their semifinal matches, only to meet one another in the gold medal match, where Ellison took the gold, giving Wukie the silver, after an 87-80 decision.

The Pan Am Championships also featured the mixed team event, in which teams are mixed by gender. The mixed junior team of Larrick and Yamaguchi secured a bronze medal for the United States after a 129-123 win over Brazil. For the seniors, Lorig and Ellison achieved yet another gold medal for Team USA with a 151-147 victory over Mexico. Click here for complete results from the 2010 Pan American Championship.  

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