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ROSARIO, Argentina - The 2017 World Archery Youth Championships kicked off competition this morning with qualification for all divisions and the first elimination round. With over 500 of the world's most talented youth archers from 65 countries, high scores were hotly contested. With some of the best performances on the field, the USA compound teams shattered three out of four possible team world records and are on track for strong finishes this weekend.
The U.S. compound cadet women's team, which has won every world title since the team event was added to the program in 2006, destroyed the standing world record score of 2019 this afternoon as defending champion Breanna Theodore (Hibbing, Minnesota) and teammates Savannah Vanderwier (Sheffield, Texas) and Sachiko Keane (Staten Island, New York) scored an incredible 2045, 12 points clear the rest of the competition.
Keane's 686 put her 3rd on the field while Thoedore and Vanderwier were 7th and 12th respectively with 683 and 676.
The men, Dane Johnson (Laotto, Indiana) and Ethan Merrill (Manchester, New Hampshire) came in strong ranking 2nd and 3rd with 701 and 699. Anthony Ferraro (Scranton, Pennsylvania) qualified 12th with 687 to put the men's team solidly in first. The highest ranking team by 11 points, the USA's 2087 demolished the previous record of 2038.
Johnson and Keane ranked 2nd together for the mixed team event.
USA's compound juniors were also major standouts this morning with Alexis Ruiz (Glendale, Arizona) and Jesse Clayton (Powell Butte, Oregon) taking the top spots on the female and male fields with 691 and 695 respectively. Together, they earned the top mixed team qualification slot by a solid 20 point margin over Great Britain. Along with their teammates, they also sealed the top male and female team qualification spots for the U.S.
The compound junior women's team, 41 points clear the rest of the field, saw Cassidy Cox (Albuquerque, New Mexico) rank 4th with a 679, while World Field Champion Sophia Strachan (Frederick, Maryland) ranked 12th with a 672. The team's 2042 beat their world record of 2041 set at the last installment of this event.
"It is really awesome and I'm proud of my team for shooting so well," Cox commented to World Archery. "There have been so many great teams who have shot at youth worlds so it is cool to know that we shot well enough to set a record."
Compound junior men Curtis Broadnax (Social Circle, Georgia) and Kolby Hanley (Cambridge, Vermont) qualified 3rd and 20th with 689 and 676 respectively to put the men's team on top.
Jack Williams (Irvine, California) led the recurve junior men's USA squad, ranking 4th with his 677. Andrew Park (Marana, Arizona) and Adam Heidt (Springfield, Georgia) qualified 12th and 52nd respectively to put the team 4th and in good standing for the team events.
Williams will be paired with top USA women's qualifier Inga Pever (Houston, Texas) as the duo ranked 10th for the mixed team event. Pever qualified 35th individually ahead of teammates Casey Kaufhold (Lancaster, Pennsylvania) and Amy Jung (Los Altos, California)who were 51st and 63rd respectively for a team score putting them 11th.
In the first round of elimination matches, Park and Heidt saw strong victories to advance, while Williams' bye will put him straight into the 1/16th elimination. Pever and Kaufhold came out on top with solid wins, but Jung fell 7-1 in a tough match with Turkey's Tayarer.
The recurve junior men's team of Alex Bourdage (Rosemount, Minnesota), Joony Kim (Boise, Idaho) and Matthew Nofel (Colorado Springs, Colorado) qualified 49th, 57th and 72nd respectively while the women, Anna Miscione (Ramona, California), Meghan Collins (High Springs, Florida) and Alex Zuleta-Visser (Orlando, Florida) were close together, qualifying 50th, 51st and 56th. Both teams came in 17th, just missing the cut for team competition. Bourdage and Miscione were 20th as a mixed duo, needing to be in the top 16 to continue in the competition.
In the primary elimination round, Kim and Nofel upset higher seeded archers, each with 6-2 matches in their favor while Bourdage fell 6-2 to Bogdanov of Kazakhstan. Miscione and Collins also both made it through to the second round with respective 6-2 and 6-0 victories. Teammate Zuleta-Visser was upset 7-3 by Sweden's Lindström.
Competition resumes tomorrow with the next round of individual elimination matches in the morning and team elimination matches through the bronze final for all divisions in the afternoon. Live results are available at www.worldarchery.org. Stay tuned for updates on a stream of the finals. For more, follow USA Archery onFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Photo: World Archery
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