When arrows begin flying here today in the opening of the archery trials for the 1988 U.S. Olympic team headed for Seoul, Korea, in September, two archers will answer the roll call when Utah comes up - Denise Parker and Ed Eliason.
And chances are, when the event concludes on Wednesday, the two could be answering "yea" when selections are made.Young Parker, now 14, has proven she is one of the best woman archers in the United States time and again, from the winning of her first meet to taking two gold medals in the Pan American Games last year to setting records a few weeks back in Atlantic City, N.J.
Eliason, one of the country's most experienced bowmen, having shot in more than 15 World Championships, shot to a fifth place in the 1972 Summer Games in Munich and was a member of the grounded 1980 team slated to go to Moscow.
The two Utahns will be in a field of more than 200 bowmen and women competing over four days of trials for one of six spots on the team - three men and three women.
Archery Association officials said it is the largest field of contenders to attend Olympic archery trials.
Other experienced archers vying for a place on the team include Darrell Pace of Hamilton, Ohio, a two-time Olympic gold medal winner; Rick McKinney of Gilbert, Ariz., who earned a silver at the 1984 Games; and Jay Barrs of Mesa, Ariz., who finished third in the 1987 World Archery Championships. Barrs also captured two golds at the 1987 Pan American Games.
Judi Adams of Phoenix, Ariz., was a member of the 1980 Olympic team and is attempting a comeback this year.
The entire field will shoot today and Monday, then cuts will be made and the finalists will compete Tuesday and Wednesday to see who makes the 1988 team.
Parker, who has come into the national spotlight the past year because of her shooting skills, including an appearance on the Johnny Carson Show and the cover story of Parade Magazine, took up the bow and arrow for the first time four years ago.
The South Jordan archer has set woman archery records in almost every major shoot she's competed in within the past year. In March, shooting in the NAA Indoor Regional/National shoot in Colorado Springs, Colo., she set seven records.
The Women's Sports Foundation recently awarded Parker one of 10 national "Up & Coming Awards" in the standard of perfection category for the progress and promise she has demonstrated in archery. Past winners include speed skater Bonnie Blair, figure skater Debi Thomas and basketball player Lynette Woodard.
The Deseret News started a special fund to help Parker get to the 1988 Summer Games. Donations are still being accepted.