Chula Vista, CA - Today was the third day of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Archery, and the first day of competition for the Paralympic Team Trials for Archery. In both cases, archers encountered heavy rain and blustery winds in their quest for spots on the teams bound for London.
In the Olympic Team Trials, the day's competition consisted of the final four of fifteen round robin matches, after which the field was cut to the top eight archers per gender. Those athletes will advance to an elimination round tomorrow followed by round robin matches on Saturday, with increased point values, after which they will go on to compete in the third and final Olympic Trials event, June 1-3 in Colorado Springs.
For the men, Brady Ellison (AZ) still leads the field with 54 points; he is followed by Jake Kaminski (CA) with 46, Jacob Wukie (OH) with 39, Butch Johnson (CT) and Joe Fanchin (CA) with 38.25, Thomas Stanwood (MA) and Victor Wunderle (NC) with 31.75, and Dan Schuller (PA) with 31.25.
On the women's side of the field, Jennifer Nichols (WY) just edged out Miranda Leek (IA) for today's top spot with 51 points to Leek's 50.75. They are followed by Khatuna Lorig (CA) with 43.5, Kristin Braun (CA) with 37, Heather Koehl (WI) with 36.75, Lori Cieslinski (MI) with 32, Mackenzie Brown (TX) with 31.5 and Holly Stover (MI) with 26 points.
Viewers will note interesting circumstances on both sides of the field: for the men, there is extremely close competition for the third spot, and with many more points at stake tomorrow and Saturday, as well as at the final Trials event, all three positions could still change. For the women, there is the additional question of whether Team USA will be able to secure a full team at the final Olympic Qualification Tournament; if the team is unable to do so, only the top-ranked female archer from the Olympic Trials will head to London, making it critical to finish in the top spot.
The Paralympic Team Trials opened today as well with a 72 arrow ranking round; archers will go on to compete in round robin matches tomorrow. Leading the open male category was Matt Stutzman (IA) with 686; he was followed by Jonathan Mize (IN) with 679 and Dugan Denton (MT) with 662. In the standing male category, Eric Bennett (AZ) led with 624, followed by Michael Lukow (UT) with 562 and Tim Palumbo (NY) with 541.
Standing female results saw Lee Ford (GA) in first with 508; D'arce Hess (CA) and Natalie Wells (CA) followed with 499 and 469 respectively. In the W1 male category, it was Jerry Shields (FL) leading with 626; Aaron Cross (MN) was second with 606; Chuck Lear (MO) ended in third with 606. Russell Wolfe (PA) was the sole competitor in the men's W2 category, finishing today with 540.
The action in Chula Vista gets even hotter on Friday and Saturday: for the Olympic Trials, it's an elimination round and another set of round robins in which bonus points double for match wins and three arrow average scores. For the Paralympic Team Trials, it's round robin match play in this single Trials event that will determine the team for London. USA Archery is providing live updates via Twitter and updating standings after each match on the Team Selection Results page.