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The US Open began today in Hamilton, and archers in the senior and junior divisions took to the field in record heat to begin the process of narrowing the field to the top eight archers in each class. In the men's recurve group, exciting matches in the 1/8 eliminations kept spectators on the edges of their seats, but in the end, top three qualifiers Jake Kaminski (CA), Brady Ellison (CA) and Butch Johnson (CT) all won their matches to advance to tomorrow's quarterfinals, along with Dan Schuller (PA), Jacob Wukie (CA), Vic Wunderle (NC), Rick Tollis (NY) and Taylor Worth (AUS). The women's recurve class saw some upsets in the 1/8 eliminations which retired two of the top-three qualifying archers in the women's junior and senior age divisions. Tomorrow, spectators will be able to watch US Olympians Jennifer Nichols (TX) and Khatuna Lorig (CA) compete in their quarterfinal matches, joined by Nicole Rasor (AZ), Kristin Braun (CA), Nien-Hsiu Yang (TPE), Heather Koehl (CA), Stephanie Miller (IL) and Hye Youn Park (KOR).
On the compound side, number one seed Jesse Broadwater (PA) was surprisingly retired during the 1/8 eliminations; however, top qualifiers Darrin Christenberry (IN) and Braden Gellenthien (VA) will return to the field tomorrow, shooting alongside Keith Trail (NC), Tim Gillingham (UT), Duane Price (WI), Rodger Willett Jr. (VA), Jason Carbaugh (PA), Logan Wilde (ID) and Glen H. Thomas (PA). For the compound women, the top three ranked archers will all move to tomorrow's quarterfinals; Erika Anschutz (OH), Christie Colin (NY) and Jamie Van Natta (OH) will join Tristan Skarvan (WI), a top qualifier in the junior division, Kendal Nicely (ME), Samantha Neal (NY), Seneca Francis (UT) and Diane Watson (FL). Tomorrow's exciting conclusion to the US Open will begin with practice at 8:00 a.m., followed immediately by the beginning of the quarterfinal matches.
Today was also the first US Open for the masters division archers, in which shooters in the compound, recurve and barebow categories competed in groups for 50+, 60+ and 70+ archers. The US Open for masters was a great success despite the record heat, and archers enjoyed the sport they love in the true spirit of competition, posting strong scores along the way. The 126th US National Target Championships also hosted youth competitors in the bowman, cub and cadet divisions, who shot a single FITA round yesterday and today. US youth archers competed alongside a large group from Chinese Taipei, gaining excellent tournament experience against some of the world's top young archers.
On Saturday evening, USA Archery hosted its annual banquet, during which CEO Denise Parker presented the awards for the National Champions in the junior, senior and masters divisions. The National Champions are determined based on the scores from the FITA round of the National Target Championships, which also serves as the qualifying round for the US Open.
The winners of the 2010 Easton and Shenk Awards were also announced at the banquet. Easton Award is presented to the compound male and female archer with the highest combined scores from the National Indoor Championships, National Field Archery Championships and National Target Championships; the 2010 winners of the Easton Award are Jamie Van Natta and Dee Wilde. The Shenk Award, given to the recurve archers with the same combined highest scores from those events; the 2010 winners of the Shenk Award are Brady Ellison and Heather Koehl.
Following the awards presentation, CEO Parker delivered the exciting news that the Hoyt World Open Championship will be conducted following the US National Target Championships in 2011; Hoyt's support for the new event will be a total purse of $44,000 in each senior division (men and women, recurve and compound), second in prize money only to the World Archery Festival. In order to be eligible for the prize money, the archer must be shooting a complete Hoyt recurve or compound bow (riser and limbs); Parker's announcement was met with resounding approval from the large crowd present.
Complete results from today's matches and youth qualifying rounds, as well as live scoring during tomorrow's matches, are available here.
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