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TORONTO, Canada - A little rain did not stop the Team USA storm on qualifications at Pan American Games this morning. The men's squad of Zach Garrett (Wellington, Missouri), Collin Klimitchek (Victoria, Texas) and Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) dominated the field, sweeping the top three spots with impressive performances.
"I felt really good about today. I wasn't perfect, but I did a good job of identifying my problems and executing good shots. For Wednesday I am going to maintain a good mental game," commented top qualifier Garrett. His first place finish today with 673, combined with Klimitchek's 669 and Ellison's 664, put the trio of U.S. men solidly in first going into upcoming team eliminations.
As this is the first time the Pan American Games is using a 720-round for qualifications, all top scores today are new Games records. Garrett has now set the top individual record and along with teammates, Klimitchek and Ellison, the new team qualification record for the Pan Am Games.
Five-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, California), led a squad of up and coming young archers: Ariel Gibilaro (North Branford, Connecticut) and LaNola Pritchard (Lehi, Utah). While Lorig held onto first for most of the morning, she ultimately seeded herself 3rd with a 651, just behind Alejandra Valencia and Aida Roman of Mexico, who tied with 655s.
Lorig shared: "I could have done better but it is just practice for Denmark, the most important event for us. I'm really pleased with our team's performance today."
Her younger teammates shot strong scores to finish in solid places for elimination matches tomorrow. Gibilaro improved her second half by an impressive 10 points to finish 6th, while Pritchard also had an moved up in the second half to finish 11th. The team is in a great position for the rest of the week, seeded second behind Mexico.
Team performances this week will be crucial as the Pan American Games are the archers' last major international tournament before World Archery Championships where they will attempt to qualify for Olympic slots.
Competition resumes tomorrow morning with women's individual elimination matches through the quarterfinals. Complete schedules for the week and results from today can be found here. For more updates from the field, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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