Field of archers in U.S. Olympic trials down to 8 men, 8 women
And then there were 16.
The field of archers vying for nominations to represent the U.S.A. at the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro was cut in half, from 32 to 16 this week – eight men and eight women.
The cuts were made following the rigorous second stage of the U.S. Olympic trials overseen by USA Archery at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.
Not surprisingly, leading the way in qualifications after the second stage are the top-ranked male and female archers in the U.S.
Two-time Olympian and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Brady Ellison of Arizona, who is currently ranked fifth in the world by World Archery, leads the men’s side, while Mackenzie Brown of Texas, who is ranked third in the world, tops the women’s field.
“I shot really well,” Ellison told USA Archery. “I think I had about a 28.58 three-arrow average (out of a possible 30) so I’m really happy that, over 15 matches, with conditions ranging from calm to very windy, that I was able to maintain that average.”
In the second stage of trials, the 32 competing archers started out April 18 by shooting two, 72-arrow rounds in one day.
That led into round-robin match play, which required each archer to shoot head-to-head against every other archer in their division, for a total of 15 matches spread over two days, April 19-20.
The matches consisted of three-arrow ends, where the winner of an end earned two points, versus zero for the loser. A tie earned each archer one point. The winner of the match was the first one to earn six points in no more than five ends. If there was a tie after five ends, the archers each shot one arrow, and the closest arrow to the center of the target was declared the winner.
In order of ranking following the second trials, here are the eight men and eight women who will advance to the third, and final, nomination competition next month in Florida.
- Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona)
- Zach Garrett (Wellington, Missouri)
- Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Florida)
- Jacob Wukie (Fremont, Ohio)
- Daniel McLaughlin (West Chester, Ohio)
- Sean McLaughlin (West Chester, Ohio)
- Collin Klimitchek (Victoria, Texas)
- Thomas Stanwood (Raynham, Massachusetts)
- Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas)
- Ariel Gibilaro (North Branford, Connecticut)
- LaNola Pritchard (Lehi, Utah)
- Hye Youn Park (Cupertino, California)
- Lauren Clamon (Chula Vista, California)
- Erin Mickelberry (Bothell, Washington)
- Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, California)
- Heather Koehl (Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin)
These archers are competing for the Olympic slots earned by the U.S. for Rio. Through competition last summer at the World Archery Championships, the men won the right to send a full team of three archers. There is only one slot currently secured for the women, but they have one more chance to add two additional archers, if the women’s team can finish among the top three at the Archery World Cup in Turkey in June.
So after the third Olympic trials in Florida, three men and one woman will be nominated to represent the U.S. in Rio. One alternate in each division also will be nominated to compete in the event a team member cannot go to the Olympics.
If the U.S. women finish among the top three teams at the Archery World Cup, then two more women will be nominated for the team, based on their shooting in the third stage of the trials.
All positions are considered nominations, because in order to actually represent the U.S., each archer must meet minimum score qualifications in sanctioned competitions. The men must have shot at least a 630 and the women a 600 in a 72-arrow competition between July 26, 2015, and July 11, 2016. (A perfect score is 720.)
If they can prove they met their respective minimum standards, the nominated archers will then head to Rio to represent the United States during the Games scheduled for Aug. 5-21.