ARCHERY Preview: National Championships begin process of Olympic selection for 2020

American archery star Brady Ellison (Photo: World Archery)

It’s been a busy time for American archers, coming off a very successful Pan American Games in Peru, but immediately heading to Dayton, Ohio for the 135th U.S. National Target Championships.

The Nationals are the first of many steps toward making the U.S. team for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. The schedule:

15 August: 1st ranking round: 72 arrows; Mixed Team rounds
16 August: 2nd ranking round: 72 arrows; Team rounds
17 August: U.S. Open elimination rounds

There are essentially two tournaments going on: the National Target Championships, which are based on the two 72-arrows rounds, and then the U.S. Open, which includes the elimination rounds on Saturday.

All the stars are expected, including two stars from the great 1996 Olympic tournament in Atlanta. The top Recurve (Olympic) division entries are expected to include:

● Brady Ellison ~ 2019 World Champion; 72-arrow World Record holder (702)
● Jacob Wukie ~ 2012 Olympic Team silver medalist
● Vic Wunderle ~ 2012 Olympic silver medalist and Team bronze medalist
● Richard Johnson ~ 1996 Olympic Team gold medalist
● Justin Huish ~ 1996 Olympic gold medalist and Team gold medalist
● Jack Williams ~ 2019 Pan American Gams Team bronze medalist

● Khatuna Lorig ~ 2019 Pan American Games silver medalist
● Casey Kaufhold ~ 2019 Pan American Games bronze medalist

Ellison, 30, is ranked no. 1 in the world and has won three Olympic medals: Team silvers in 2012 and 2016 and an individual bronze in 2016; he’s made it clear that a Tokyo gold is his next goal.

Lorig, 45, will be trying for her sixth Olympic team with three countries; she won a Team bronze with the Unified Team (former Soviet Union) in 1992, then competed for Georgia in 1996 and 2000 and for the U.S. in 2008 and 2012.

Kaufhold, 15, was a sensation on the World Archery Indoor circuit, winning a tournament at age 14. She was impressive last week in Lima, winning an individual bronze, women’s Team gold and a Mixed Team gold with Ellison!

Huish, now 44, was part of the astonishing U.S. performance in Atlanta in 1996, winning the individual gold over Sweden’s Magnus Pettersson, 112-107, then teamed with Rod White and Johnson to win the team gold over favored South Korea, 251-249.

In addition to the Olympic Recurve division, championships will be held in Barebow and Compound. The U.S. has the top-ranked Compound archers in the world right now in Braden Gellenthien and Alexis Ruiz, with Jack Lutz the reigning World Champion and Paige Pearce the current Worlds silver medalist and Pan Am Games bronze medalist.

Look for results here.