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Legnica, Poland - Team USA's top young archers are off to a strong start at the World Archery Youth Championships in Legnica, Poland. Qualification rounds began yesterday and concluded today, with very solid performances by the U.S. compound archers.
The USA has qualified number one in the compound junior women's and compound cadet men's categories; third in the compound junior men and compound cadet women's categories; ninth for recurve cadet women, and twelfth for recurve cadet men; eleventh for recurve junor men and sixteenth for recurve junior women.
Qualification rounds opened yesterday with a full FITA round from the recurve cadet men. Korea's Park Seong Cheol and Lee Seungyun led the category with 1337 and 1332, respectively, despite windy conditions. Chinese Taipei's Wang Yuan-Ching took the third position with his score of 1330. The U.S. team was led by Matthew Zumbo (CA), whose strong scores at 60 and 30 meters placed him in 11th with a 1312; he was followed by teammate Alex Wifler (IA), shooting a 1294 to rank 19th, and Eliot Simon (NY), qualifying 84th with a 1205.
For the compound junior men, shooting a 72 arrow, 50 meter compound round, it was Mike Schloesser (NED) who edged out World Champion Christopher Perkins (CAN) for the top spot. Both archers hit scores of 701; however, Schloesser shot more tens. USA's Garrett Abernathy (NC) ended his ranking round in third, shooting a 694. Teammate Ben Cleland (OH) took the eighth spot, shooting a 691, while Aaron Groce (GA) hit a 679 to qualify 30th.
Kendal Nicely (ME), who recently medaled at the World University Games in Shenzen, China, was the USA's strongest qualifier in the compound junior women's group, qualifying second with a 682. Nicely ended just six points behind Inge Van Caspel (NED), who shot a 688 for the top position. The top three was rounded out by Giulia Cavalleri (ITA), shooting a 678. Team USA's Carli Cochran (PA) qualified sixth with her score of 674, while teammate Sarah Lance (MI) took tenth with a 670.
Bridger Deaton (IA) and Danny Button (WI) led the compound cadet men's qualification round, shooting 699 and 694, respectively, to take the first and second rankings. They were joined in the top three by Jacobus Loots (RSA) with his score of 690. Team USA's Riley Whiting ended his round in eleventh place, shooting a 684 and just one point out of the top ten.
South Africa's Danelle Wentzel was the top qualifier in the compound cadet women's group, shooting her way to the top with a 686. Just behind her was Canada's Sydney Watson with a 679, and Mariia Vinogradova (RUS), shooting the same score with three fewer tens. USA's Emily Fischer (TX) qualified 8th, shooting a 668, and teammates Paige Pearce (CA) and Kannsas Michaels (PA) took ninth and twenty first place rankings, respectively, with scores of 667 and 660.
Today, the recurve junior men and women both shot their qualification rounds, along with the recurve cadet women. Kim Seong Hoon (KOR) and Sung Wookyeong (KOR) topped the recurve junior men's category with a world record setting 1351 and a 1341, respectively. Rick Van Der Ven (NED) followed ten points behind in third, with 1331. Team USA's Peter Kelchner (NM) was the top qualifying American in this category with a 1290; Daniel McLaughlin (OH) qualified twenty-third with a 1274, and Josh Smith (CA) ended in sixty-ninth place with 1198.
Korea dominated the recurve junior women's category as well, with Kim Minjung and An Sejin shooting matching scores of 1333 for first and second place, respectively. India's Deepika Kumari, one of India's most accomplished archers, qualified third with 1329. For the USA, it was Miranda Leek (IA) who led qualifications, coming in sixth with a 1320. Resident Athlete Holly Stover (MI) qualified fifty-first, shooting a 1216, while Katie Alexander (CA) ranked seventy-third with her score of 1111.
In the recurve cadet women's group, it was an all-Korea top three, with Shin Jeong Hwa shooting four new world records for Korea with a 1389 overall, and record setting distance scores of 345 at 60m, 349 at 40m and a 356 at 30m. Teammates Ryoo Su Jung and Kang Chae Young ended in second and third, shooting 1371 and 1355. For Team USA, it was Lauren Clamon (CA) who was the top qualifier, in 25th with a 1289; Mackenzie Brown shot a 1278 to qualify 31st, while Michelle Gilbert (MD) ended in 37th with a 1267.
Continuing coverage will be posted here throughout the week. Team USA is supported at this event by National Head Coach KiSik Lee, together with Assistant Coaches Jim White, Rich Cockerell and Jim Pruitte. The Team is led by DIane Watson and Assistant Team Leader Robert Turner. USA Archery thanks the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Easton Foundations for their support of Team USA at this event. For complete results, visit http://www.archery.org; USA Archery will also be posting updates on Twitter and Facebook throughout the week.
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