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PHOENIX, Arizona - After a hot week at the AAE Arizona Cup, the sky opened late into elimination matches this morning. Intense matches heated up as surprising upsets shook the brackets.
No. 3 seed and current U.S. Olympic Team Trials leader Zach Garrett (Wellington, Missouri) faced top seed and Olympic silver medalist Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) for the gold. Garrett, who celebrated his 21st birthday this weekend, took the win 6-2.
"It feels encouraging," commented Garrett. "I know I've done a lot of work, and it's good to see that paying off. I went into this tournament feeling really good, so a lot of the mental stuff that I've been going through in the off season and just trying to master my own head a little bit has come to fruition, so I feel really confident, happy and excited [going into the second round of Olympic Trials next weekend.]"
Speaking to the changing weather conditions on the field, Garrett added: "It was difficult with all the adverse weather, it's even more mentally taxing, this was the perfect trial for me to see if what I've been working on is going in the right direction, and it is."
Winner of the compound women's bracket, Slovenia's Toja Cerne echoed Garrett: "As the first tournament of the year, this is great practice. The sooner you deal with these weather conditions, the sooner you figure out what you need to do. The first World Cup in Shanghai is just around the corner, so I'm happy with this."
Cerne added: "You always try to learn at a tournament. Some people say you either win or learn, but even if you win, you always learn. Archery is a sport where you are always learning. I proved to myself that what I'm working on in these conditions, and judging the wind, is working. I'm going to go to Shanghai confident and see what happens."
Brogan Williams (Stillwater, Oklahoma) lost a close semifinal match to eventual silver medalist, Colombia's Sara Lopez, but went on to take bronze with a smooth 140-137 win over Texas A&M's Allie Blazek.
The compound men's gold final was hot as Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho) took on World ranked No. 2 Mike Schloesser of the Netherlands. The two were tied for much of the match, finishing five ends with 142 points each. After a one-arrow shoot off, Wilde took the win for the U.S. with a 10. Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Massachusetts) locked up another U.S. bronze with a 144-143 win over Paul Tedford (Great Falls, Montana).
On the recurve women's side, the gold final featured international competitors: Mexico's Rebeca Marquez and Colombia's 43rd seed, Carolina Aguirre. Marquez took the gold 6-2, while Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas) took a 6-2 win over Audrey Hong (Encino, California) in Hong's first ever USAT event.
The cadet field also featured incredible talent as rising stars faced challenging conditionsC. Congratulations to the following medalists!
Recurve Cadet Men:
Recurve Cadet Women:
Compound Cadet Men:
Compound Cadet Women
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