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PHOENIX, Ariz. - After a grueling eight month process that started in September 2007, USA archers have only one day left to earn their position on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team. With the conclusion of the elimination rounds today, only the round robin remains to determine the two women and three men that will named to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team at 4:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time tomorrow at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at the Ben Avery Shooting Center in Phoenix, Ariz.
Standings on the women's side remained unchanged as 2004 Olympian Jennifer Nichols (Cheyenne, Wyo.) has all but assured herself of a return trip to the Olympic Games.
The top three men have remained the same, but tomorrow's round robin action will determine the eventual team members. In elimination round action today, 19-year-old Brady Ellison (Glendale, Ariz./Chula Vista, Calif.) showed he has the heart of a champion as his last four shots were 10's, three to tie and a final extra arrow to win by one point over Jason McKittrick (Holton, Ind.). McKittrick, who finished fourth at both the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, again finds himself in the fourth position going into the final day as he shot extremely well, falling by one point and an extra arrow in a shoot-off with Ellison in the final of the elimination round. Olympic veterans Vic Wunderle (Mason City, Ill./2000 and 2004) and Butch Johnson (Woodstock, Conn./1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004) found themselves matched up in the first round of the elimination round with Wunderle coming out victorious. Jacob Wukie (Oak Harbor, Ohio/Chula Vista, Calif.) who made a strong move yesterday moving from fourth to seventh failed to take advantage of the elimination round falling in his first match today to McKittrick.
"I feel pretty good," said Ellison. "I haven't really started to get excited yet. I'm trying to stay calm and focused and keep on doing the same thing I've been doing the last couple of trials and the last couple of days. I'm just trying to go into tomorrow shooting good like I have been and hope for the best."
The top eight men and the top eight women are competing in this final round of what has been an eight month U.S. Olympic Team Selection process. Athlete ranking to start this event was determined by standings following the first two rounds of the process which began in September 2007 and continued the first week of April at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. The scores from those two events combined with scores from this weekend's event will be tabulated in a formula to determine the top three men and top two women that will make up the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team which will be announced Sunday, May 4.
The 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Standings at the conclusion of day one are as follows:
Jennifer Nichols (Cheyenne, Wyo.)
Khatuna Lorig (Baltimore, Md./Chula Vista, Calif.)O
Karen Scavotto (Chula Vista, Calif.)
Lindsay Pian (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Stephanie Miller (Naperville, Ill.)
Lori Cieslinski (Howell, Mich.)
Kendra Harvey (Rio Rancho, N.M.)
Dawn Chudy (Springfield, Pa.)
Brady Ellison (Glendale, Ariz./Chula Vista, Calif.)
Butch Johnson (Woodstock, Conn.)
Vic Wunderle (Mason City, Ill.)
Jason McKittrick (Holton, Ind.)
Guy Krueger (College Station, Texas)
Jacob Wukie (Oak Harbor, Ohio/Chula Vista, Calif.)
Shawn Rice (Los Lunas, N.M.)
Staten Holmes (San Antonio, Texas)
Round-robin competition is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow with each athlete completing four matches before lunch. The final three matches for each athletes are scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. Scores will be tabulated and team selection announced on Sunday at the official team announcement and press conference at 4:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Headquarters Building of the Arizona Game and Fish Department near the range at 5000 West Carefree.
The public is invited to visit the Ben Avery Shooting Facility FITA range to watch the event. Spectators are advised to bring their optics and to check-in at the information booth for an event program. Souvenir team photos will be available for children.
This USA Archery event is hosted by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and Arizona State Archery Association.
The Ben Avery Shooting Facility is located at the northwest corner of I-17 and Carefree Highway. To get to the FITA archery range, take I-17 to the Carefree Highway exit (Exit 223) and go 1.5 miles west on Carefree Highway to the stoplight at the Arizona Game and Fish Department's headquarters building. Turn right and follow the signs to the archery event.
Note to media: *(Media interested in attending should contact Cecil Bleiker, NGB Elite Athlete Media Services Director for USA Archery via cellular phone at 719-330-2062. Approved media may pick up their credentials at the Registration trailer at the event. Interview access to athletes will be granted during the lunch break and following the conclusion of competition each day. Please relay athlete interview requests to Cecil Bleiker. Designated as the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, the event broadcast rights are owned by NBC. Non-NBC affiliated stations are encouraged to come to conduct interviews, but will not be allowed to air competition footage without written permission from NBC per the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Broadcast Guidelines. A press conference announcing the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team for Archery is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 4 in the Auditorium of the Arizona Game and Fish Department Headquarters Building at 5000 West Carefree. All media and television affiliates are welcome to attend and air footage from the press conference as the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials Broadcast Guidelines does not apply to press conferences.).*
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