Quick shooters survive qualifying at Pan Am champs in Santiago
Famed trigger-hitter Jimmy Lutz, Casey Kaufhold, Matias Grande and seven-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion Sara Lopez topped qualifying at the 2022 Pan Am Championships today in Santiago, Chile.
The backdrop – beautiful. The environment – challenging.
“It was a great day to be a puncher,” said Lutz, who topped the compound men’s field with 709 out of a possible 720 points for the 72-arrow 50-metre round.
“The wind is pretty tricky here because it switches back and forth so you have to be on your toes at all times.”
Three points behind Lutz, taking second seed, was newcomer to the US target team, Nick Kappers.
Only seven compound men broke 700 points.
Six compound women broke the elite mark, led by the indomitable Sara Lopez on 706. It’s the second year in a row she, and the rest of the Pan Am field, will have to contest windy conditions on the road to continental titles.
Last year’s event in Mexico – in the city of Monterrey – was stormy.
Big names struggled to find a groove on the athletics field of the military school set in Chile’s capital. Surrounded immediately by skyscrapers and afar by mountains, the deceptively open space brought serious challenges.
Casey Kaufhold (662) was 21 points up on her nearest challenger – Cuba’s Elizabeth Rodriguez – on the recurve women’s leaderboard.
“The factor that set me apart from the rest was having a good mindset in the wind,” said Kaufhold, the current world number five. “I heard a lot of people around me complaining but… I wasn’t afraid of the wind, I was confident.”
“I would pick my spot to aim and trust my process. If the arrow didn’t go where I wanted it to, I would just brush it off and go onto the next one.”
Matias Grande’s 682-point round to lead the recurve men was a career-best by nine points.
Competition at the Pan Am and Para Pan Am Championships continues in Santiago on Wednesday with team eliminations and qualifying for the para competitions. The event runs through the weekend. Para and team finals are scheduled for Saturday and the individual finals on Sunday.