Alabama

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Decatur, AL, to Host Top Archers

1 Jul, 2015


Olympic and Paralympic medalists and World Champions will be in Decatur from July 1-5, 2015, competing at the U.S. National Target Championships, U.S. Open and Easton JOAD Nationals, known collectively as "Outdoor Nationals." With over 900 other competitors registered to shoot, including many of the country's best youth archers and several archers representing international teams, competition promises to be fierce.

The Outdoor Nationals, which will kick off this Wednesday, is one of the last stops before Team USA attempts to qualify for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Later this month, at the World Archery Championships in Copenhagen, Team USA members Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona), Zach Garrett (Chula Vista, California) and Collin Klimitchek (Chula Vista, California) for the men, and Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, California), LaNola Pritchard (Chula Vista, California) and Ariel Gibilaro (Chula Vista, California) for the women, will shoot to qualify the U.S. for the Olympic Games.

Lorig, who coached Jennifer Lawrence for her role in "The Hunger Games," has been coaching young archers across the country since 2012. Coaching clients have also included celebrities, such as Sports Illustrated model Kirby Griffin. Her current focus is on making her 6th Olympic team and winning the Olympic medal she just missed at the London 2012 Games.

Pritchard and Gibilaro are two relative newcomers who have enjoyed team success with Lorig on the World Cup scene. Mackenzie Brown (Chula Vista, California) a World Archery Youth Championships medalist and Rio 2016 hopeful, is another archer to watch.

With significant talent on the men's field, competition will be cutthroat. The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Archery, which start in September, will be anyone's game. Contenders include 2012 Olympic silver medalists Brady Ellison, Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Florida), and Jacob Wukie (Fremont, Ohio); twin brothers Sean and Daniel McLaughlin (Chula Vista, California); and newcomers Zach Garrett and Collin Klimitchek, both of whom are enjoying tremendous success this year, as well as other top-ranked male athletes.

Top compound archers competing in Decatur, include Crystal Gauvin (Dayville, Connecticut), Lexi Keller (Omro, Wisconsin), Jamie Van Natta (Toledo, Ohio), Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho), Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Massachusetts) and Rodger Willett, Jr. (Gloucester, Virginia). Team USA boasts one of the strongest compound archery teams in the world, including several gold medalists from this past month's World Archery Youth Championships. Para archers are also expected to compete, though the members of the Para United States Archery Team will be at a World Ranking Event in the Czech Republic this week.

For our youth participants, this tournament is their best opportunity to gain high-pressure tournament experience and international exposure. While this is likely the toughest competition these archers will face all year, the Eason JOAD Nationals are also an annual favorite for community building, transnational friendships, and motivation to compete at an elite level.

The Outdoor Nationals Tournament will be held at the Jack Allen Recreation Complex located in Decatur, Alabama. The event is free and open to the public.

USA Archery was formed in 1879 to develop and promote the sport of archery and is the only organization designated by the United States Olympic Committee to select and train athletes to represent the United States in the Olympics, Paralympics and Pan American Games. USA Archery is also recognized by the International Archery Federation (World Archery-WA) to support athletes and teams to compete in World Championships, World Cups and other international competitions.

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/outdoornationals or contact Sarah Bernstein at 201.919.8050.

About USA Archery: USA Archery is the National Governing Body for the Olympic sport of archery in the United States. USA Archery selects and trains Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship, and World Cup teams, as well as developing archery at the grassroots level across the United States.  For more information, visit http://www.usarchery.org.

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