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Bloomfield, NJ - Tensions on the field ran high this weekend as thirty one archers gathered in Brookdale Park in Bloomfield, NJ to contest the final three spots in each category for the team that will represent the United States at the World Archery Championships in Torino this July. A testament to the depth of field and archery talent in the United States today, the top three spots in almost every category were closely contested. There was movement in the ranks between the first Trials event, held in conjunction with the Easton Foundations Gator Cup last month, and the second stage which took place yesterday and today.
For the women's recurve, four-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig (Los Angeles, CA) began the event in the number one spot, and never relinquished her hold, winning all but one of her matches in the second stage to finish first for the trials event. She will be joined in Torino by two-time Olympian Jennifer Nichols (Bryan, TX), and Junior Dream Team member Miranda Leek (Des Moines, IA), who clinched the third spot by 1.5 points.
On the men's side, Olympian and no. 2 world ranked Brady Ellison (Glendale, AZ), who set a new (unofficial) national record this weekend, established a commanding lead early on and continued his climb throughout the two stages, finishing the event in first with a ten point lead. Fellow Resident Athletes Jacob Wukie and Joseph Fanchin, finishing just two points apart in the standings, will round out the men's recurve team in Italy.
Jamie Van Natta (Toledo, OH), who shot her way to the Gold Cup podium and to a new (unofficial) World Record this weekend, also held on to the top spot in her category, finishing first by four points. Christie Colin (Ransomville, NY) took the second spot this afternoon with a half-point lead over Kailey Johnston (Dublin, GA). Together, the three will make up the women's compound team in Torino.
In the men's compound category, just a half point separated the top three, with these powerhouse shooters requiring a shoot-off to determine the first place ranking. Braden Gellenthien (Woodbridge, VA) taking the first position. Gellenthien will be joined at the World Archery Championships by reigning World Champion Reo Wilde (Pocatello, ID) and World Cup teammate Jesse Broadwater (Jennerstown, PA).
The coaching and team leader staff was also announced today; the athletes will be coached by National Head Coach KiSik Lee, who will be joined by coaches Guy Krueger, Mel Nichols and Mike Usherenko. The team will be led by Cindy Bevilacqua.
Both compound and recurve archers will compete for team and individual medals at the World Archery Championships; this is also the event at which the U.S. recurve teams will attempt to qualify quota spots for the 2012 Olympic Games. The next stop for the full team will be Antalya, Turkey, where they will compete together at the second stage of the Archery World Cup in preparation for Torino.
For complete results from the World Archery Championships Team Trials, click here.
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