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MEDELLIN, Colombia - The 2018 Pan American Championships and Para Pan American Championships are the World Archery Americas' Continental Championships and a prestigious competition for USA Archers. In today's team competitions, all USA men's, women's and mixed teams made it to medal matches and the recurve and compound seniors earned their spots for the 2019 Pan American Games.
Top ranked trio Brady Ellison, Jack Williams and Matt Requa dropped only one set all day, cleaning their matches through to the recurve senior men's gold final. The recurve women's team of Mackenzie Brown, Khatuna Lorig and LaNola Shepherd 6-0'ed the quarterfinals, but a semifinal with Brazil posed a challenge for the No. 2 ranked team. Forcing a shoot off, USA took the win 28-23 to advance also to the gold final and guarantee the U.S. its maximum critical spots for recurve archers at the 2019 Pan American Games.
Top ranked by a wide margin, USA's compound men's squad of Matt Sullivan, Reo Wilde and Kris Schaff cleaned their first match by 13 points over Canada with an impressive 238/240. The team opened with a 58 and then drilled three perfect 60s to close the match before a 233-231 victory over El Salvador to shoot for gold.
The U.S. senior compound women had the biggest challenge, seeded third behind strong teams from Colombia and Mexico. A 227-205 victory built momentum in the quarterfinals, but Mexico's 234-228 semifinal win put Paige Pearce, Cassidy Cox and Jamie Van Natta in the bronze final. Shooting against Puerto Rico, USA opened strong with a two-point lead that they grew each end to finish 230-220 and on the podium.
The para recurve and compound open men's teams both came in to the team competition solidly ranked in first. Timothy Palumbo, Kevin Mather and Michael Lukow swept the recurve open men's qualification and drilled straight 6-0 wins all the way to gold. Ben Thompson, Andre Shelby and Richard Burkett outscored Colombia 227-153 in the semifinals and Mexico, 226-186 to sail their way to the top of the compound open men's podium.
Ranked first for the recurve cadet men, USA's Trenton Cowles, Dallas Jones and Nikhil Murali had a bye straight into the gold final against the home team from Colombia. With strong scores, the USA team smoked a 6-0 victory to claim the gold. Also ranked first, USA's junior recurve men, Benjamin Hur, Jackson Mirich and Alex Gilliam were challenged in their gold medal matchup against Brazil. Struggling to find the middle, the U.S. team was down 4-0 before they brought it back with a set of 55. An ultimate 6-2 decision gave Brazil the victory and U.S. the silver.
In the afternoon, archers returned to the field for mixed team competition and the compound teams' shot at Pan American Games qualification. With the highest qualification score on the field, Pearce and Sullivan teamed up and sealed the U.S.'s maximum two spots with a 154-150 quarterfinal win over Canada and a 155-154 semifinal win over Puerto Rico to advance to the gold final.
With a growing portfolio of mixed team wins, Ellison and Brown joined forces once again with a top seed. Clearing a 5-1 quarterfinal win the duo met a tough match against Colombia in the semifinals. Going through all four sets to a shoot off, USA clinched the win and a shot at gold this weekend with a 17 to Colombia's 14.
Hur and top ranked recurve junior Katherine Wu entered the mixed team event ranked 2nd and won a semifinal match against Colombia 5-3 to face the top seeded team from Brazil. The Brazilian duo opened 2-0, but USA came back strong to win the next three sets and take the gold 6-2.
Cowles, who will represent Team USA at the Youth Olympic Games later this year, shot with Ramsey Lechner as the 5th place ranked cadet mixed team. The strong young duo upset Canada in the quarterfinals 5-3 and then the top ranked team from Mexico 6-2 in the semifinals. Shooting against Colombia for the gold, the two teams alternated set wins to force a 4-4 tie and shoot off. With a perfect 20, USA locked up the win.
Thompson and Teresa Wallace qualified 3rd in compound open mixed team event. A 144-150 semifinal win for Brazil sent USA to the bronze final against Mexico. Mexico opened with a 4-point advantage after the U.S. scored a miss. But by the final three arrows, Thompson and Wallace had brought the score back to a 100-all tie. Continuing on, the U.S. duo clinched the bronze win 136-133.
Competition resumes tomorrow with individual eliminations through select bronze finals and gold medal matches for the senior categories. The elimination matches for the recurve juniors and cadets and compound masters will not be held until Saturday afternoon. Complete results from the competition are available here. Follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitterand Instagram for more from the event.
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