SoCal Showdown Heats Up With Strong Qualifications Despite Wind
Quick link to results and live scoring: http://ianseo.net/Details.php?toId=709
CHULA VISTA, Calif. – The famous San Diego “June Gloom” –
which covered the archery field at the U.S. Olympic Training Center - couldn’t
dampen the joy of over 460 archers, who took to the field today for the SoCal
Showdown, presented by Flexor. Smiles and sunshine lit the field as arrows
began hitting targets, with archers competing for medals and national rankings.
As the third USAT Qualifier Series Event of 2014, the SoCal
Showdown is hosting some of the best archery talent in the country. Though
there are some notable absences – Braden Gellenthien, Jennifer Nichols and
Jesse Broadwater among them – the level of competition on the field was as hot
as the Southern California temperatures, and it will only get hotter as archers
progress to head-to-head matchplay tomorrow.
“It’s nice to be able to compete against high level athletes
when we come here,” explained Canada’s Virginie Chenier, who led the recurve
junior women’s group. Chenier is competing as part of a women’s team from
Canada, who are using some of the U.S. tournaments as training events to
prepare for Rio 2016 qualifications. “Today was about learning to play with the
wind, seeing where the arrows go and trying to deal with that.”
The wind – which was described as “variable” by several
athletes – didn’t stop Olympic medalist Jake Kaminski, who ruled the recurve
men’s group with a solid 662.
“I felt like I made pretty good shots, and I’m again happy
that I’ve made progress and I’ve shot well for the fifth or sixth tournament in
a row. It’s extra reaffirming that I am doing the right things and I’m making
the right changes, and it’s finally making a difference,” he commented. Kaminski
finished ahead of Olympic teammate Brady Ellison, and Rio 2016 hopeful Sean
Athletes LaNola Pritchard and Mackenzie Brown led the
recurve women, followed closely by Erin Mickelberry; in fact, the score
difference was just two points between first and third place.
For the compounders, Erika Jones again proved why she’s
ranked number one in the world: trailing just by a point or two throughout
today’s round, she pulled ahead on the final end to take the number one spot.
Following close behind – one point to be exact – was Crystal Gauvin, followed
by Lexi Keller.
Henry Bass was the top ranked archer for the compound men,
also gaining an advantage in the final arrows of the day. Reo Wilde stepped up
to take the number two spot, while Steve Anderson- who led for most of the
round – finished in third.
The SoCal Showdown is also a ranking event for para archers,
and they turned out in force today, a promise of growth in the para divisions.
Paralympic medalists Matt Stutzman and Jeff Fabry each led the compound bow
standing men’s and compound bow W1 men’s categories, respectively; Lyne
Tremblay and Martha Chavez each finished the day with solid scores in the
compound bow W1 and W2 women’s categories. Jonathan Mize led the compound W2
men. For the recurvers, Paralympians Lee Ford and Russell Wolfe claimed the top
spots in the recurve bow standing women and recurve bow W2 men’s categories;
Timothy Palumbo led the recurve standing men.
Junior archers qualified in their own categories today, but
will be ranked with seniors tomorrow for purposes of elimination round match
play. Chenier topped qualifications for the recurve junior women, while Dylan
Hwang was the number one ranked recurve junior male archer. Tyson Pruitte earned the top spot for the
compound junior men, while Angelica Ramirez finished out front for the compound
Top qualifying younger archers also put up very strong
scores, and youth participants made up a significant percentage of the event’s
competitors. On the recurve cadet men’s side, it was Minsoo Kim who scored the
top spot, shooting a 653, while Eliana Claps topped qualifications in the
recurve cadet women’s category with a 637. The compound cadet categories were
led by Samuel White for the men, and Allie Blazek for the women; both put up
strong scores despite tough competitions in their categories.
When asked how she felt about her score, Claps commented: “well,
they’re a little bit lower than my average, but I shot pretty well for the
wind.” Reflecting on her long-term goals, Claps talked about Rio: “I want to be
an Olympian,” she said. “First goal is to make an Olympic Team and my second
goal is to win it.”
To follow live scoring during Sunday’s finals, visit http://ianseo.net/Details.php?toId=709.
USA Archery will carry live coverage on Facebook and Twitter, and BowJunky is expected to carry post-event