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February 16, 2011

Anschutz, Wilde Are Vegas Champions

For the second time in 24 hours, several hundred archers and spectators filled the main ballroom of the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas, this time to witness the exciting conclusion to the World Archery Festival, also known as "The Vegas Shoot." For this international event, in which over 1600 archers competed, any ties in the top three following the third day of shooting were broken using "sudden death" shoot offs. 


After 90 arrows shot over three days, Erika Anschutz and Jamie Van Natta were tied for first in the compound women's category with matching scores of 898, followed by Andrea Nicholson and Tiffany Reeves, tied for 3rd place with 897. The third place tie was resolved, with Andrea Nicholson winning her shoot-off with Reeves, while Anschutz and Van Natta shot for six ends before the match was decided. The last four ends between the #2 world ranked Anschutz and World Cup teammate Van Natta went to "inner ten" scoring, before Anschutz took the match by one point to become the World Archery Festival champion for her category.


In the compound men's group, thirteen men qualified for the shoot-off with a score of 900; a special "Lucky Dog" sudden death round also took place in which all archers who shot an 899 competed for a single spot in the final shoot-off. Fourteen archers began the shoot-off, and all archers remained after the first shooting end. However, within four ends, the field was reduced to four, with Reo Wilde, Martin Damsbo (DEN), Keith Trail and Glen Brazell competing for a cash prize of $25,000. Ultimately, Trail and Brazell were eliminated, taking fourth and third place respectively, while Damsbo and Wilde went on to a final end, in which Wilde defeated Damsbo to win the compound men's category. 


For the recurve women, first place went to Naomi Folkard (GBR) with her score of 867, while Khatuna Lorig made a strong comeback to tie for second place with Carina Christiansen (DEN) with matching scores of 858. Moving to a tense shoot-off that lasted five ends, the archers continued to match one another's scores until Christiansen shot a higher score, giving four-time Olympian Lorig third place. Two-time Olympian Jennifer Nichols was the second highest-scoring American woman, finishing in fourth with 857, while Zane Berzina ended in fifth, shooting an 848. 


In the recurve men's category, high scores ruled the day, as Canada's Crispin Duenas took first place with a strong score of 886. Archery World Cup Indoor Champion Michele Frangilli (ITA), just three points behind, ended in 2nd, while Olympian Magnus Petersson finished in third place, shooting an 881. 


For the Americans in this group, Jake Kaminski finished in 4th place, scoring an 880, while five-time Olympian Butch Johnson made a strong showing, coming back from 15th place on the first day of the tournament to finish sixth with an 877. USA Archery Resident Athlete Jacob Wukie was the third highest scoring American for the recurve men, tying Johnson's score but finishing in 7th place.  


Also of note was the strong finish from Jeff Fabry, shooting in the freestyle limited championship category, who scored a strong 878 to take the title of Champion. He was followed by Erica Strassman, shooting an 876, and Graham Cofield, who shot an 862 for a third-place finish. 


Nathan Yamaguchi, a Junior Dream Team member competing in the mostly-adult recurve flights division, won the group, shooting an 856 to end the tournament. Youth Olympic Games team member Ben Chu took 2nd, scoring an 856, while Daniel Holstein ended in 3rd with an 851. For the compound flights, the top scoring archer was Garrett Abernathy, with an 899; second and third places went to Robert Gregg and Connor Kelly, with the same score but fewer x's. Complete results from the tournament may be found by clicking here. 

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