Archers join U.S. team

Updated: June 20, 2004, 12:51 AM ET
Associated Press

MASON, Ohio -- A Wyoming archer landed a spot on the U.S. Olympic team Saturday, as did a 34-year-old wildlife refuge manager who didn't compete in his first Olympic-style archery tournament until last year.

John Magera earned the third and final spot as six days of U.S. Olympic trials finished near Cincinnati.

Vic Wunderle and Richard "Buster" Johnson got the two other spots on the team.

Jennifer Nichols, of Cheyenne, Wyo., finished first in the women's trials, followed by Stephanie Arnold and two-time Olympian Janet Dykman from El Monte, Calif.

The Olympic archery competition starts Aug. 15 in Athens, Greece.

Magera, from Carterville, Ill., is a longtime shooting enthusiast who started participating in the Olympic-style event only two years ago and didn't enter a tournament until last year. His goal was to finish among the top 16.

"If I did that, I would have been completely happy," said Magera, who wasn't included in the event's media guide. "This probably hasn't sunk in yet."

Wunderle, from Mason City, Ill., defended the title he won in 2000, when he went on to earn the individual silver medal for the U.S. team that finished third.

"I wanted to finish first in the tryouts and get off to a good start for the games," Wunderle said.

Wunderle beat Johnson, a three-time Olympian from Woodstock, Conn., by only 43 points. Magera finished 95 points behind Johnson and 11 ahead of fourth-place Jason McKittrick of Milan, Ind., who will be the men's alternate.

Nichols cruised to her championship, finishing 259 points ahead of Arnold, who is from Portland, Ind.

"This is incredible," Nichols said. "I just wanted to make the team. I'm still not quite believing what I've done."

Kendra Harvey, 16, from Rio Rancho, N.M., is the women's alternate.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press