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August 12, 2015

U.S. Recurve Men Sweep Qualifications in Wroclaw

WROCLAW, Poland - Competition at qualification day of the third stage of the Archery World Cup was hotter than the near 100F temperatures on the field. Just 10 points separated the top 16 compound male archers and 11 points for the top 16 compound women. However, The U.S. recurve men were the big story today, sweeping the top three qualification scores.

The top 72-arrow score was a nine-point personal best in competition for Collin Klimitchek (Victoria, Texas). "The first half was better than expected," said Klimitchek on his 342 half. "Then I wasn't trying to shoot another 340 but just maintain things."

He was on track to near-match his first-half score over the back stretch, but a lower-scoring last end put it out of reach. Collin wasn't worried: "The pin just got away from me." He finished five points ahead of teammate Sean McLaughlin (West Chester, Ohio), who took second.

The world's only 3-time World Cup Final Champion Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) qualified third, and Zach Garrett (Wellington, Missouri) eighth, completing both a top three sweep and putting all four recurve men into automatic Archery World Cup ranking points position with byes into the third round.

Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas) was the nation's top recurve women's qualifier: fifth. Aida Roman of Mexico and India's Deepika Kumari took the top two qualification slots and will certainly be women to watch. Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, California) finished 19th, just ahead of LaNola Pritchard (Lehi, Utah), 24th. Michelle Gilbert (Bethesda, Maryland) was 45th.

Crystal Gauvin (Dayville, Connecticut) just took individual silver at World Archery Championships last week in Denmark, then flew back home to work for a week before coming back to Europe for the World Cup stage. Having loved the cool winds in Copenhagen, a tired Gauvin commented: "I'm not good with heat."

She finished 10th in qualification but could have been higher. Her last end had three eights. Over the rest of the 66 arrows in the round, she'd only shot one arrow into the red. Lexi Keller (Omro, Wisconsin), with a tied score but just one fewer 10, took 11th. Angela Bradley (Herald, California) and Easter Brock (Sandy, Utah) rounded out the squad qualifying 38th and 45th respectively.

Compound men's top finisher Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Massachusetts), recently switched from a back tension release aid to a thumb trigger and added weight to his bow: "I've had terrible target panic." The switch paid off with Gellenthien's first top seed in a while. "I'm able to put the pin where it needs to be and execute a clean shot," he said.

Bridger Deaton (Pella, Iowa) finished 3rd and Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho) 6th to pre-seed into the 1/16th elimination and nab the top team qualification slot. Steve Anderson (Salt Lake City, Utah) finished in 10th

The recurve men's team also qualified first, while both women's teams are seeded 4th for eliminations.

The competition continued today with mixed team eliminations through the semifinals. The recurve mixed team, qualified first, was upset in the quarterfinals in a shoot off with Belarus. The compound mixed team, also top seed, faced 13th seed Iran in the semifinals. Iran, climbing the brackets posted a 150 to USA's 149 so the U.S. duo will shoot for the bronze this weekend.

Competition resumes tomorrow with individual elimination matches. Complete schedule and results can be found here. For updates from the field, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Information attributed to World Archery Communications. 

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