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Ogden, Utah - Determined not to be defeated in their own backyard, the archers from the United States team came out swinging today at Stage 3 of the Archery World Cup, held at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Following the 72 arrow qualification round, the U.S. team led nine out of ten qualification categories, including all team and mixed team qualifications.
For the recurve women, it was China's Jing Xu who led after the first 36 arrows, shooting a 334, while Team USA's Miranda Leek (IA/USA), the 18 year old rising star from Des Moines, was just behind with a 333. In third at the half was seven time World Champion Natalia Valeeva (ITA). Other top scorers included Bishindee Urantungalag (MGL) with a 330, and Jessica Tomasi (ITA), scoring a 330. Team USA's Khatuna Lorig (CA/USA) was 13th after the first 36 arrows, while teammates Jennifer Nichols (TX/USA) and Kristin Braun (CA/USA) held 14th and 46th respectively.
Through the second half of the ranking round, Leek battled for the top spot with Valeeva and Urantungalag, but ultimately, it was a one point lead for Urantungalag that gave her the top seed for the day with 661, followed very closely by Valeeva and Leek, with 660 points each. When asked how she felt about the day, Leek noted, "I shot pretty well the first half, the second half I dropped down a little bit, but it wasn't bad. I'm just trying to stay focused on shooting my shot and making it like practice." Teammate Nichols advanced through the ranking, and won a shoot-off, to finish in the coveted 8th spot with a 649, while Lorig ended in 11th with 648, and Braun finished 51st with 582. Leek and Nichols, along with the rest of the top 8 ranked archers, will be pre-seeded into the 1/16 eliminations, while Lorig and Braun will proceed to elimination round match play later today.
Brady Ellison (AZ/USA), the number one world ranked archer, was the top finisher for the men's recurve category after some movement in the ranks throughout the morning. Initially, the category was led by the young sensation Gael Prevost (FRA), shooting a 342 to lead at the half; Prevost was followed by teammate Romain Girouille (FRA), with a 340, and Canada's Crispin Duenas with his score of 339. In fourth and fifth were Dmytro Hrachov (UKR), and Ellison, both shooting 339s. Team USA's Joe Fanchin (CA/USA) and Jake Kaminski (CA/USA) were 16th and 19th after 36 arrows with matching scores of 333, while teammate Jacob Wukie held 47th with 312.
As the morning continued, Ellison increased his ranking, shooting a 344 at the second half to qualify first overall with 683. "I shot alright and I'm happy with it," said the young archery superstar. "Even when the wind picked up a little bit, I was able to read it alright, so I'm happy today." Hrachov also maintained a high score on the back 36 with a 676 for the second place ranking, while Duenas finished the day in the third qualification spot with 675. Other notable rankings included Prevost in fourth, while Laurence Godfrey (GBR), the top qualifier at the World Archery Championships, was the fifth-seeded archer. For the U.S. team, Kaminski and Fanchin ended in 11th and 12th, shooting 667 and 666 respectively, while Wukie pulled up to 40th with a 649.
On the compound side, it was recent Hoyt World Open champion Christie Colin (PA/USA) who was the top shooter on the first half, dropping just nine points for a 351. She was followed by Croatia's Ivana Buden, with her score of 348, and U.S. teammate Jamie Van Natta (OH/USA), who shot a 347. Other notable scores included number one world ranked Erika Anschutz (TX/USA) with 346 points, and reigning World Champion Albina Loginova (RUS) in fifth with a 342, while Team USA's Diane Watson was 13th at the half, scoring 341.
Van Natta came on strong during the second 36 arrows, shooting a category-leading 345, though it was not quite enough to edge out Colin, who finished as the first ranked archer with 695 overall. Van Natta followed with her score of 692, while Buden dropped to finish third, shooting a 689. Anschutz ended her day in fourth, scoring a 687, followed very closely by Loginova, fifth with the same score. Team USA's Watson finished in 17th overall with 675.
There was very close competition on the compound men's side, with most of the world's top compound archers in attendance. Team USA's Braden Gellenthien (VA/USA) led the pack after the first 36 arrows, shooting a 355, a score which was followed closely by teammate and Utah resident Logan Wilde, in second also with 355. Reo Wilde (ID/USA) was just one point behind brother Logan, while Pierre Deloche (FRA) shot a 353 for the fourth position. It was the World Champion Christopher Perkins (CAN) in the fifth spot with 351, and Team USA's Rodger Willett, Jr. in 9th with 350.
On the back half, Italy's Sergio Pagni came back strong to finish first for the second 36 arrows, but it was not enough to stop Gellenthien, who shot a combined 707 for the top ranking. He was followed by Wilde brothers Logan and Reo, in second and third with 707 and 706, respectively, while Pagni ended his day in fourth and Deloche in fifth. Team USA's Willett, who is defending his number one world ranking this week, finished the qualification round in 10th with a 701.
With their top rankings, the U.S. team led qualifications in all of the team and mixed team categories, and three of four individual categories. In the men's recurve, the U.S. team is followed by China, France, Ukraine and Italy, while for the women's recurve, USA, China, India, Italy and Ukraine are the top five teams. USA also led the men's compound category, followed by Canada, France, Iran and El Salvador; for the women's compound, the leaders were USA, India, France, Iran and Canada.
The day continues with mixed team and individual eliminations. USA Archery will be reporting live from the event all week, with updates posted to Twitter and photo albums posted to Facebook. The U.S. team is supported by a full staff at this event, including National Head Coach KiSik Lee, Coaches Mel Nichols and Doug Ludwig, and Team Leader Cindy Bevilacqua. USA Archery thanks the Easton Foundations and the U.S. Olympic Committee for their support of the compound and recurve teams at this event. For live scoring, visit http://www.archery.org; for complete information on this event, visit http://www.ogdenwc.com.
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