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At the AAE Arizona Cup, the cadet archery stars shone just as brightly as their senior counterparts.
The 15-17 year old archers joined the adults today for elimination round matchplay, and all age divisions were able to take center stage from the quarterfinals onward.
For the compound cadet female archers, Sophia Strachan and Athena Caiopoulos battled it out for gold, with Strachan taking the medal, 134-117. Mexico's Carolina Estrada clinched the bronze medal in her match versus Blakelee Butler.
Spencer Yee emerged with the compound cadet men's gold medal, just 13 years old in a division full of archers age 15 and older. Curtis Broadnax finished with silver, shooting 140 points to Yee's 144, while Pablo Duenez of Mexico won bronze over Logan Bunker.
For the cadet recurvers, it was Grace Kim who took the top spot on the women's podium with a solid 7-3 gold medal victory versus Sofia Torres of Mexico. Caity Farr won the bronze medal, shooting a 6-0 shutout win versus opponent Songhee Min.
The recurve cadet men were led by gold medalist Geun Kim, who shot a 6-2 win versus Ryan Oliver. Both archers are members of the Junior Dream Team, and shot well despite the increasing wind this afternoon. Arellano Humberto of Mexico rounded out the podium with the bronze medal, 7-1 versus Adam Heidt.
For senior archers, competition produced several surprising early exits, which made today's finals even more interesting.
On the compound side, Team USA stars Crystal Gauvin and Jamie Van Natta finished sooner than expected, leaving Paige Pearce the sole American competitor in the finals. Pearce delivered a score of 135 versus Puerto Rico's Marla Cintron's 141, which earned her the silver medal to Cintron's gold. The bronze medal match was an all-Mexico shootout, with Ana Juarez taking the win versus Katya Rodriguez.
For the men, fans saw French favorites PJ Deloche and Seb Pieneau retire by the quarterfinals, as well as Americans Reo Wilde, Bridger Deaton and Steve Anderson. The gold medal matchup was a very close smackdown between Rodger Willett, Jr. and Jesse Broadwater, with Willett winning gold, 146-144. Bronze went to Braden Gellenthien, winning with a 147-145 score over Henry Bass.
Khatuna Lorig has been unstoppable throughout this entire event, qualifying first by a strong margin and leading the U.S. Team Trials for the World Archery Championships. Today, she finished her winning streak by clinching the recurve women's gold medal, 7-3 versus Colombia's Natalia Sanchez. The bronze medal match was a meeting of Olympic medalists, with Aida Roman of Mexico taking the hardware from teammate Mariana Avitia.
Archery fans should not have been surprised to see Brady Ellison make his way to the gold medal match. There, he met a strong opponent in Canada's Crispin Duenas, who commented after his 6-5 win that he'd been training in Florida to get ready for this critical season. While Ellison settled for silver, teammate Zach Garrett, the number one qualifier this week, won bronze versus fellow Resident Athlete Daniel McLaughlin.
Complete results from the AAE Arizona Cup may be found here. Though the Arizona Cup formally concluded today, the event will host a Para World Ranking Event tomorrow, along with round robin matchplay for the World Archery Championships Team Trials.
USA Archery will be live tweeting results from the Team Trials tomorrow as they become available. There will not be live scoring online for this event; fans are encouraged to follow USA Archery's general news feed and results feed on Twitter for standings. Photos and video will also be available on USA Archery's Instagram and Facebook.
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