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DUBLIN, Ohio – The Buckeye Classic kicked off the 2020 United States Archery Team (USAT) Qualifier Series today with every kind of weather. From hot sun to wind and rain, today’s events were nothing short of exciting. Scores were tight in some close competition and tomorrow’s elimination matches promise to be cutthroat. Coming off almost a year-long break, the season began with Outdoor Nationals earlier this month and is quickly heating up in Ohio.
The Buckeye Classic debuts a new schedule format, where the senior and masters archers qualified today and will shoot match play tomorrow. The cadet and junior archers qualify tomorrow morning and compete in match play on Sunday morning.
With severe storms near the venue, competition concluded today after ten out of twelve ends of scoring. The final end saw Alexis Ruiz jump into the lead for the compound women with a 583, just a point ahead of Paige Pearce, who led the field the entire rest of the day.
Ruiz shared: “I was just trying to do my best here, especially after Nationals, I went home and trained a bit differently and it showed here and I’m so proud of my performance today, although the conditions weren’t necessarily great. I’m really happy with some small changes and how I shot today. I’m going into tomorrow with the same game plan as today; shoot my shot and whatever happens, happens.”
National Champions and U.S. Olympic Trials leaders Casey Kaufhold and Brady Ellison were strong atop the senior recurve field. Ellison wrapped with a 570 and a 15-point margin over Jack Williams. Kaufhold’s 537 had her lead 10-points clear the rest of the field.
“Today was interesting,” shared Kaufhold. “It started out fine, and I had a good mindset, but after the first rain delay, I came back and tried to keep the ball rolling even though everything was wet, and it definitely messed with my mental game some. It was a roller coaster of a day and I went with every turn that came, but I’m hoping to try to not let the weather affect me as much tomorrow because I want to be heads and shoulders above everybody else.”
Braden Gellenthien led the compound senior men’s competition, finishing with a 593 and a 5-point margin. James Lutz, Kris Schaff and Reo Wilde were each 1-point apart in the next four places.
Keith Trail and Deanna Cronin led the compound masters with a 569 and 572 respectively. Cronin was on pace for a national, and possible world record until the last few arrows in the rain in an outstanding performance under tricky conditions.
It was Ken Kronberg for the top recurve master men’s finish today with a 524 and Tatyana finished first for the women with a 513.
Richard Burkett Jr. topped the para compound open men in today’s qualification with a commanding lead and Erev King held a strong lead for the compound open women. Kevin Mather had a solids performance for in the recurve open men’s category.
Competition resumes tomorrow with junior and cadet qualification in the morning and senior and masters elimination matches in the afternoon. Complete results from today’s events and live scores throughout the weekend are available on Between Ends. Check out our online photo gallery and join the conversation this weekend with #BuckeyeClassic.
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