Arizona Archer Wins Olympic Trials at Ben Avery Shooting Facility

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Brady Ellison, 19, from Glendale, Ariz., was pure gold in all three matches before a cheering hometown crowd during the final Olympic Archery Trials at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility on May 2-4.

Brady will be headed to Beijing, China this summer to represent the United States.

The nation’s finest archers gathered at the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s shooting facility to compete during this third and final round of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Archery.

Eight male and eight female archers were vying for the three remaining men’s spots and two women’s spots on the U.S. team that will compete at the Olympic Games in Beijing. For the final standings, visit the USA Archery Web site.

During the event in Phoenix, a banner across one section of the grandstands filled with partisan spectators appropriately proclaimed, “The Brady Bunch.”

 After the last shot was taken, it was all hugs and autographs for Brady as the talented young shooter was congratulated by friends, family and fans for being undefeated in all three rounds of the three-day competition.

Cecil Bleiker of USA Archery said that during the second day of competition, “Brady showed he has the heart of a champion as his last four shots were 10’s; three to tie and a final extra arrow to win by one point over Jason McKittrick (Holton, Ind.).”

As the Olympic signs proclaimed along the sidelines during the competition, “Amazing awaits.” Brady and the “Brady Bunch” now have their sights set on Olympic gold in China this summer.

This dedicated young archer has already compiled an impressive winning record. Brady has been one of the country’s top young archers in recent years. He was the 2006 national target champion and a gold medalist at the 2006 Junior Olympic Archery Development National Championships. He also competed on the U.S. team at last year’s Pan American Games.

There was also another winning Arizona connection at the archery trails. Jennifer Nichols of Cheyenne, Wyo., who trains in Tucson, placed first in the women’s competition.

There was a tense moment during the final match of the three-day competition when Jennifer was waiting for the wind to die down before taking her final shot of the day. With just three seconds left, the wind sock lowered and Jennifer raised her bow. Then with just one second left, Jenny calmly nailed the shot while the crowd (and her coach) audibly released their collective breaths.

Coming back from the target, the upbeat young archer showed her true mettle – she was undaunted by the close call and had a dance in her step while her beaming smile lit up the desert landscape.

But the archery competition wasn’t all cheers and smiles for the Arizona contingent. A young Arizona hopeful, Lindsay Pian, of Scottsdale, who attends Arizona State University, came in fourth during the competition for the two available Olympic slots.

The USA Archery event was hosted by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and Arizona State Archery Association.