USA reaches third in women's team qualifying

Mackenzie Brown shoots at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

USA archers Mackenzie Brown, Casey Kaufhold and Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez sit in third place following the women's qualification at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

The trio compiled a score of 1970 out of a possible 2160 points on Friday at Yumenoshima Park Archery Field, just six points behind second seed Mexico (1976) and well behind top-seeded Korea, whose three archers all delivered scores above the previous Olympic record for a team score of 2032.

"My main focus today was getting my mind relaxed," said Brown, who seeded fifth individually with a score of 668 points put of 720. 

"Not trying too hard, not trying to make any particular score happen, just shoot how I know I’m capable of and how I have been shooting. I’m just excited I stayed calm and I stayed collected. I couldn’t be happier."

Casey Kaufhold shoots at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Brown shot halves of 336 and 332 to pace the United States women, who won a full team quota at the final qualifier last month in Paris, France. Kaufhold seeded 17th with a score of 653, while Mucino-Fernandez placed 24th with 649. 

"The only time I was shaken up today was when I heard I was fifth," Brown said. "I can hear them, obviously, when they announce, but I don’t look at scores. I still have a job to do, and if I get too caught up in what’s going on or where I am, I typically don’t do my job very well."

While not a leaderboard watcher, Brown will be happy to learn of the sizable improvement from her qualifying round from Rio 2016. 

Brown seeded 19th with a score of 641 in her first Olympics, advancing to the Round of 16 as the only USA woman in attendance. 

Now shooting with a full team quota Tokyo, Brown will look to continue her upward trajectory as the week continues. 

"I feel like I'm a different person from when I was at Rio in 2016," she said. "Coming out onto the world large stage and finishing fifth for the first part of the competition is really good for me. I'm really happy."

Brown will face Germany's Charline Schwarz, who seeded 60th with a score of 607, in her first-round match on Wednesday.