Leek, Ellison Lead After First Day of Olympic Trials
With a 72 arrow, 70 meter ranking round and the first three of fifteen matches out of the way, only one thing is clear at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Archery: it’s still very much anyone’s game. The sixteen men and sixteen men who are competing at this second of three Trials events (nomination shoots) have carried over their points from the first nomination shoot, and many aspects of this week’s competition are more heavily weighted than they were in September.
This morning’s ranking round afforded archers an opportunity to earn bonus points for their final placement after 72 arrows, and bonus points for scores over a certain threshold. Following a midday break, archers began the process of round robin matches, during which each archer will shoot against each other archer in their category once. Archers are awarded a bonus point for each match win, in addition to bonus points for their three-arrow averages.
On the men’s side, there was movement in the top archers, though Brady Ellison (AZ) maintains a commanding point lead in the standings. He is followed by Jake Kaminski (CA) still holding the second position; from there, point standings become very close, starting with Joe Fanchin (CA), who moved up from fifth place to third by day’s end.
Five-time Olympian Butch Johnson (CT) was unable to hold on to the third spot, dropping to fourth; Jacob Wukie (OH) dropped from the fourth position to fifth. In the sixth position is Vic Wunderle (NC); followed by Thomas Stanwood (MA), moving from tenth to seventh; Dan Schuller (PA); Peter Kelchner (NM); Staten Holmes (TX); Dan McLaughlin (OH); Jeff Anderson (WA); Michael Quayle (NC); Matthew Zumbo (CA); Olympian John Magera (TX); and Joe McGlyn (NY).
For the women, Miranda Leek (IA) moved into the top spot, just past two-time Olympian Jennifer Nichols (WY), while Kristin Braun (CA) moved into third, and four-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig (CA) dropped to fourth. Heather Koehl (WI) is fifth by just one and a quarter points, and overall the point spread between third, fourth and fifth positions is very close.
In sixth is Lori Cieslinski (MI), followed by Mackenzie Brown (TX), Stephanie Miller (IL) and Holly Stover (CA). The surprise of the day was fourteen year old Lauren Clamon (CA), who won key matches versus Lorig and Koehl to push into the tenth spot. She is followed by Erin Mickelberry (WA), Mary Hamm (TX), Madison Eich (WA), Nicole Rasor (AZ), Ariel Gibilaro (CT) and Sarah Chai (NY).
With just the first three matches out of the way, twelve round robin matches remain in the first part of the week, followed by a cut to the top eight men and top eight women. Those competitors will go on to individual eliminations and another set of round robin matches on Friday and Saturday. Also up for grabs are bonus points for archers’ three arrow averages throughout the week, meaning that anything can happen as the week continues, and with one Trials event still remaining in June, the competition will continue to keep spectators on the edges of their seats.