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CORTINA, Italy - The World Archery Field Championships continued today with individual elimination matches. After two days of qualification, divisions were cut to the top 22 archers and then divided into four pools to compete in a shoot-up format. The top two from each division were automatically seeded into the semifinals and then archers from the four pools competed today to determine pool winners who will go head to head tomorrow to determine the final two semifinal match placements.
10th seed for the barebow men, John Dillinger came in at the 3rd match and took a 78-76 win to advance to shoot against 3rd seed and pool leader John Demmer III. The USA men went head to head with the highest scores on the field. Following a perfect 18 to start, Demmer took and held the lead, winning 89-84 to close out the day on top.
Dillinger commented: "I thought the competition today was pretty good, but it was unfortunate that Demmer had to knock me out. We had a really good match with high scores and had a good time out there."
Demmer agreed: "My goals were the same as they are for any competition: shoot well, try to make some good shots, narrow down the mistakes, have fun, make new friends and work your way through the eliminations." Demmer is in a good spot to go for gold with "Barebow Nation" proudly supporting him.
Fawn Girard also won her pool for the barebow women, coming in at the final match and taking a shoot off win to stay in the game.
For the barebow juniors, 2016 silver medalist Mark Schlaudraff went out round one in a shoot off to teammate Andrew Ford, who was declared the pool winner to continue tomorrow. As Sophia Hickerson won the only women's match of the day, all three U.S. women will advance, with Laura Hughes and Hickerson going head to head for a shot at the semis tomorrow, while Abigail Weir will face Benton of Great Britain.
The compound junior women had great excitement in today's matches. 8th seed Cassidy Cox won her first match 93-88 to face No. 3 Käck of Sweden. Going into the final target, the scoreboard showed an incorrect lead for Cox, and she dropped just one point behind her opponent, thinking she had the win, only to find out it was a 91-all draw and for a shoot off. Clinching the win with a 5, Cox advanced.
Meanwhile, teammate and reigning champion Sophia Strachan also faced a shoot off after a 91-all tie with Norway's Lislevand. A 6 to Strachan's 5 took the win.
4th seed Savannah Vanderwier absolutely crushed it in her one match of the day, taking an early lead and picking up more and more points each target to close with two perfect 18s and an incredible 100-88 win. "I love this, I love every part of this," gushed Vanderwier. "The pressure, the competition, shooting with all these girls from different countries is so much fun. My goal is to shoot as many 6s as I can and keep shooting until they tell me to stop." On her experience in Italy so far, she added: "It is so beautiful, easily the most beautiful and challenging course I have ever shot on, both physically and mentally. And the gelato is amazing!"
Eli Hughes upset Great Britain's 6th seed Walsh in a stunning 4th match victory, 104-98 to win his pool for the compound junior men and continue. In the same side of the bracket, Connor Sears qualified second and sits waiting in the semifinal round.
5th seed for the senior compound men, Dan Jasa won his pool, coming in at the final match and taking a strong 101-97 win. In the other pool, top seed Steve Anderson is guaranteed a medal match. Paige Pearce seeded 2nd for the women and also stamped a spot in the final rounds.
4th seed Joseph Scarboro came in at the last match of the recurve junior men's pool and cleaned a win by 6 points to fight for a spot in the semifinals. On the women's side, 11th and 13th seeds Faith Cook and Erin White fought through tough matches. White upset the 8th seed with a 75-73 win in her first match before she was stopped 77-66 in the next. Cook took names, knocking out the 10th seed 80-75 and then facing No. 3 Cavic of Slovenia fearlessly, taking a 75-70 victory to win her pool and keep shooting tomorrow.
As the 2nd seed from qualification, Brady Ellison is pre-seeded into the semifinals and will be the only U.S. senior recurve archer to continue after today's matches.
Competition tomorrow features the pool winners going head to head, and then semifinal matches to determine medal matchups for Sunday. Then, in the afternoon, team matches through the medal matches. Complete results from the competition can be found here. Follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more from the event.
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