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College Station, Texas - Four years. Thousands of practice sessions. Hundreds of thousands of arrows. The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Archery - First Nomination Shoot kicked off today at Texas A&M University in College Station, where nearly 150 archers gathered in "Aggieland" to test their skills in the hopes of earning one of six coveted spots for archers on the U.S. Olympic Team.
There was a formidable level of talent present on the field today, and with an open first Trials event, it is clear that tomorrow's ranking round could be anyone's game. Some of the most accomplished competitors are number one world ranked archer and 2008 Olympian Brady Ellison (AZ), five-time Olympian Butch Johnson (CT), four-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig (CA), three-time Olympian Vic Wunderle (NC), two-time Olympian Jennifer Nichols (TX), and 2004 Olympian John Magera (TX).
Other notable talents on the the field today included rising star Miranda Leek (IA), recent World Cup gold medalist Joe Fanchin (CA), 2008 Olympic Team alternate Jacob Wukie (OH), Pan Am Games team member Jake Kaminski (CA), Resident Athletes Heather Koehl (WI) and Kristin Braun (CA), World University Archery Championships team member Stephanie Miller (IL), the legendary Ed Eliason (UT), and top compound archer Braden Gellenthien (VA), trying his hand at recurve.
On Thursday, archers will shoot a double 72 arrow ranking round at 70 meters, and at the end of the day, the top sixteen men and top sixteen women will form the "shadow team," the group of athletes who will advance to the round robin matches to be contested Friday and Saturday.
Throughout round robin match play, archers will be ranked according to factors such as their three arrow end averages and wins or losses, as well as any bonus points earned during the ranking round. Complete selection procedures can be viewed by clicking here. Live results from the ranking round will be available at http://www.ianseo.net; USA Archery will be posting photos on Facebook and updates on Twitter throughout the event.
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