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ANTALYA, Turkey - Team USA started off the third stage of the Archery World Cup in style, with three top three individual qualifications and two top three team rankings, positioning the American squad well for this week's competition.
World No. 1 Erika Jones (Grand Island, Nebraska) led the women's compound field by a strong seven points, finishing the 72 arrow ranking round with a 698. Trailing her were Svetlana Cherkashneva of Russia, with 691, and Sophie Dodemont of France, shooting 690.
Team USA's Jamie Van Natta (Toledo, Ohio), Christie Colin (York, Pennsylvania) and Diane Watson (Hudson, Florida) qualified 13th, 16th and 61st, respectively.
"I qualified #1 today at the World Cup Stage 3 in Antalya, Turkey," Jones commented in an update to fans. "The goal is for the good shots to continue into the individual eliminations tomorrow."
Together, Jones, Van Natta and Colin clinched the number one team spot, which should give them a highly coveted bye into the quarterfinals of the team competition.
On the men's side, Peter Elzinga of the Netherlands qualified number one with a 707; following close behind were USA's Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Mass.) and Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho) - who hit 706 and 705 for the second and third spots. USA's Bridger Deaton (Pella, Iowa) and Rodger Willett, Jr. (Gloucester, Virginia) qualified 17th and 52nd.
With their strong scores, the team of Gellenthien, Wilde and Deaton will take to the field in the number two spot for the team rankings - an enviable position for any team to have.
Team USA's recurve archers also qualified today, with Olympic medalist Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Florida) helping to lead the men's team to an 8th place ranking with his score of 669. Fellow London 2012 Olympic medalist Brady Ellison (Payson, Arizona), and Resident Athletes Joe Fanchin (Oceanside, California) and Jeremiah Cusick (Chula Vista, California), qualified 28th, 39th and 43rd, respectively.
"I shot really well today in the ranking round," Kaminski told fans on Instagram. "Ended up ranking 14th with a 669 (334,335) TQ for USA so I got to shoot mixed teams as well with Jenny Hardy. We shot very well, never missed the gold and I dropped only two points including our shoot off arrow with China."
For the women, it was three time Olympian Jennifer Hardy (Houston, Texas) as the top American qualifier, putting up a 632 to qualify 46th. Five time Olympian Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, California) finished in 58th, while Michelle Gilbert (Bethesda, Maryland) and Mackenzie Brown (Tyler, Texas) ended in 65th and 69th. The team qualified 17th, which will keep them out of the team event for this World Cup.
The American mixed teams also went on to compete in eliminations today; the recurve team of Kaminski and Hardy was stopped in a tough one-arrow tiebreaker versus China in the 1/8 round, while the compound team of Gellenthien and Jones had a two point loss to Colombia in the quarterfinals.
The U.S. continues their World Cup competition this week with individual and team eliminations, and finals this weekend. Catch live scores and this weekend's live streamed recurve and compound finals at http://bit.ly/antalya2014.
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