How to make the U.S. Olympic archery team

The 2016 summer Olympics are fast approaching. Scheduled for Aug. 5-21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, archery is among the many sports to be featured in the games.

The United States certainly hopes to see one or more of its archers climb the podium and claim Olympic glory. The U.S. has won seven individual gold and two silver medals among both men and women, along with one gold, two silver and two bronze team medals, since archery returned to the Olympic games in 1972, following a 50-year absence.

Currently, top U.S. archers are trying to shoot their way onto the nation’s Olympic team. Sixteen men and 16 women will compete in the second round of Olympic trials April 17-20 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California.

Brady Ellison

Brady Ellison

How did they get here? And what’s still to come?

Let’s take a look at the qualification process overseen by USA Archery to field a U.S. Olympic archery team to send to Rio.

THE TEAM

At most, the team can consist of three men and three women, who will all shoot Olympic recurve bows. Compound bows are not shot in the Olympics. (We’ll cover that issue in a future article.)

To secure those six team spots, nations must finish among the top eight teams in the World Archery Championships the year prior to the Olympics. Nations that finish outside the top eight are guaranteed only one female and one male spot, but they have other qualifying tournaments before the Olympics to try to earn the right to send full teams.

Mackenzie Brown

Mackenzie Brown

At the World Archery Championships last summer, the U.S. earned the right to send three men, but only one woman. The country will have another chance to try to get two more women on the team in June, at the Archery World Cup in Turkey. There, U.S. women must finish in the top three as a team to secure those two extra spots for the Olympics.

THE INDIVIDUALS

The 32 archers scheduled to compete at the second Olympic trials event in Chula Vista earned the right to be there by their shooting at the first trials event held last September. That competition was open to any U.S. citizen who is a member of USA Archery. Becoming a member of USA Archery is as simple as registering and paying a fee that starts as low as $15.

At the first trials event, all competitors shot 144 arrows – two 72-arrow rounds – at the required distance of 70 meters. The men and women with the top 16 scores earned the right to move to the second trials event.

At that competition, all the archers will shoot two 72-arrow rounds at 70 meters to earn rankings. Then, a competition bracket will be set up based on those rankings, and archers will shoot head-to-head matches against one another.

Jake Kaminski

Jake Kaminski

The top eight men and the top eight women at this event will advance to the third, and final, trials event in Florida in May.

There, archers will shoot a 72-arrow round, followed by an elimination contest and round-robin match play. Points are earned during these competitions, and the top three male finishers will be nominated for the Olympic team, with the fourth-place finisher being named the team’s alternate member.

The women will be similarly ranked based on competition, but only the top finisher will initially be nominated to the Olympic team. The results of the team’s competition in Turkey a month later will determine if two more women are nominated for the Olympic team. If there’s only one spot, the second-ranked woman would be the alternate team member; if the team has three spots, the fourth-place finisher would be the alternate.

Now you’ll notice these Olympic trials only result in individuals being nominated to the U.S. team. In order to officially be part of the team, both the men and women must meet minimum qualification standards set by World Archery for 72-arrow rounds. The men must have shot at least a 630 and the women a 600 at a sanctioned competition between July 26, 2015, and July 11, 2016. (A perfect score is 720.) If they can prove they met their respective minimum standards, they’re heading to Rio to represent the United States and potentially etch their names in history.

Here are the archers who will be shooting for the Olympics April 17-20 in California.

MEN

Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona)

Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Florida)

Sean McLaughlin (West Chester, Ohio)

Zach Garrett (Wellington, Missouri)

zach

Zach Garrett (Photo courtesy of World Archery)

Thomas Stanwood (Raynham, Massachusetts)

Jacob Wukie (Fremont, Ohio)

Collin Klimitchek (Victoria, Texas)

Daniel Schuller (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)

Dan Schuller

Dan Schuller

Matthew Requa (Houston, Texas)

Victor Wunderle (San Antonio, Texas)

Jeremiah Cusick (Scandia, Minnesota)

Ryan Fortenberry (Bulverde, Texas)

Daniel McLaughlin (West Chester, Ohio)

Sean mclaughlin

Daniel McLaughlin

Chris Webster (Surprise, Arizona)

Brian Bullis Jr. (Glendale, Arizona)

Nathan Yamaguchi (Phoenix, Arizona)

WOMEN

LaNola Pritchard (Lehi, Utah)

Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas)

Ariel Gibilaro (North Branford, Connecticut)

Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, California)

Khatuna Lorig

Khatuna Lorig

Hye Youn Park (Cupertino, California)

Lauren Clamon (Palestine, Texas)

Christine Kim (Cerritos, California)

Heather Koehl (Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin)

Karissa Yamaguchi (Phoenix, Arizona)

Erin Mickelberry (Bothell, Washington)

Tatyana Muntyan (Delray Beach, Florida)

Lori Cieslinski (Howell, Michigan)

Allison Eaton (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

Meghan Collins (High Springs, Florida)

Anna Miscione (Ramona, California)

Madison Eich (Brier, Washington)

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