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LAS VEGAS, Nevada - As the 2017-2018 Indoor World Cup Season wrapped today with exciting head to head finals matches, USA archers made strong runs and took home top finishes.
The compound men's top 16 was half USA archers, with seven of those eight in the same bracket. Jesse Broadwater, ranked 3rd, was the only U.S. archer on the other half of the bracket, taking strong wins to shoot against Kris Schaff for gold. Putting on a show for the roaring Vegas crowd, Schaff and Broadwater took the match to a one-arrow shoot off. Both put solid 10s down range, but Broadwater's was closer to the center and he took the gold victory.
On picking up his third Indoor World Cup Final Champion title commented: "It's always a rush coming out here under the lights and its good practice for tomorrow if I make the shoot off. I don't feel like I performed that great out there tonight, even though I came home with the win, I wish I would have shot a little better. I know what I did, so hopefully I can go back tonight, think about it and come up with something better for shoot off situations like that."
In just a few days, Broadwater will travel to Yankton, South Dakota with Kris Schaff to compete as teammates for the World Archery Indoor Championships. He added: "Kris and Tate [Morgan] have been shooting really strong this year, so we're going to have a really good team."
In the bronze final, Braden Gellenthien was victorious over the Netherlands' Mike Schloesser. In the first few rounds of matches, no archer dropped below a 147, and most matches weren't decided until the final arrows. Also impressively making the top 16 were USA's Tate Morgan and Paul Tedford, who will compete in next weeks' World Archery Indoor Championships, and Dave Cousins, Jesse Clayton, and Reo Wilde.
Brady Ellison was absent from the first two qualifying stages, but with silver in Nimes last month, he easily made the cut to compete today. Putting his best shots of the weekend down range in early matches, Ellison breezed into the gold final where he faced Korea's Han Jaeyeop.
Ellison shared: "I felt like I shot a lot of good shots, and then got hung up on the clicker and shot a lot of bad shots. Ultimately it cost me the last couple of ends shooting those 9s. I'm really happy because tonight I shot really well to get to that match where I have been struggling all weekend. So, to get out there and almost clean, I think I shot only two 9s to get into the matches, so I'm really happy about that."
Resident Athlete Jack Williams had a stunning run, earning a spot in the Final and taking strong set wins through the quarterfinals. When his match went to a 5-5 tie and a shoot off, Williams' arrow was arguably closer to the center as a dead middle shot, but deemed too close to call, another shoot off gave the win to Italy's Mandia.
Williams commented: "The first shoot off was dead center, no complaints there, it was as even as it could get. On the second one, he was closer, but it still would have been nice to know with a precise measurement. Overall, shooting the Final was a good experience and definitely gets me ready for the World Indoors next week and the Outdoor world cup season this year."
On the compound women's side, a lot of surprising upsets in the early matches shook the brackets. After winning silver at stage one of the series this year and gold at the second, Paige Gore was a favorite to contend for top honors today. Yet, she was bested in the first round along with USA's Alexis Ruiz. Christine Harrelson also won an impressive first round match with an emotional shoot-off, but exited the competition soon after along with Cassidy Cox, who had top 10 finishes at every stage of the season.
Gore explained: "It was a really interesting day, I think five of the eight first-round matches were upsets, and the scores were tight, everyone shot well. When you start with the top 16, everyone is good; there's no 'bye match,' so the playing field is even, and it was a long day. We shot this morning, then hung out in the vendor booths and talked to people and then came back here to warm up and shoot matches. So, everyone did well but it was anyone's game; the men's side too, you saw incredible shooting and really tight scores."
On the recurve women's side, Olympians Mackenzie Brown and Khatuna Lorig also earned spots in the Final matches. While Lorig fell in round one, Brown shot through a strong initial win to won silver in the 2016 Final here in Vegas, and is currently poised to earn a shot at the shoot down for the top eight tomorrow. With a 290 today, sitting in 9th, Brown was the highest ranking U.S. recurve archer in today's events.
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