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WROCLAW, Poland - Down to the wire, with just days standing between him and another World Cup Final berth, Brady Ellison (Payson, Arizona) turned up the pressure - and is poised to deliver.
"I've kind of sucked all year, and I'm sick of being beaten," Ellison told World Archery today, following the qualification round at the fourth stage of the Archery World Cup, where he delivered a knockout 685 to lead the field by 11 points at the end of today's round.
And on the compound side, Crystal Gauvin (Dayville, Connecticut), with just over a year of national level competition under her belt, qualified a strong second in a difficult field to become the top U.S. qualifier for the compound women.
"Definitely made some bad shots today, but I was lucky enough to shoot more good shots to get myself a new [personal record] in competition, qualify second overall, and first for the U.S.," she posted on social media.
For Gauvin, the day only improved: she shot in the mixed team event with second ranked American compound male archer Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Massachusetts), and together the duo clinched a spot in the mixed team gold medal match.
Overall, it was a successful day for Team USA, with both compound teams ranked second going into the team eliminations, and the recurve men's team seeded a solid third. The recurve women are ranked fourteenth for the team event.
Exceptional performances today included the U.S. compound men, who all qualified top eight in their category. Also delivering high scores today: Olympic medalist Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Florida), ranked third, and World No. 1 Erika Jones (Grand Island, Nebraska), seeded fourth.
Citing equipment changes as one of the driving factors behind his performance, Ellison looked toward Thursday's individual elimination rounds. "I was shooting good scores with the equipment I was using before - but I've made some changes and now we're getting along better," he said.
"If I can really pull out a tournament and podium here - and then make the Final - it would be big for me. I hate losing so much that every tournament I go to, I want to win."
For Ellison, an individual medal would not only secure a spot at the World Cup Final - but would also be a perfect time for a return to the international stage that he dominated so completely in 2011 and 2012. "Even though this year you're not building [up] for a World Championships or an Olympics, you're always trying to improve. At least, I am."
Follow Team USA's performance all week, with live scoring throughout the event and live streamed video from this weekend's finals. USA Archery will carry updates on Facebook and Twitter throughout the event.
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