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May 27, 2016

Young Archers on the Rise at Gator Cup Qualification and Compound Eliminations

NEWBERRY, Florida - This morning, recurve men and all compound archers shot qualification at the Easton Foundations Gator Cup. Then in the afternoon, the recurve women shot their qualifying scores while the compound archers competed in elimination matches through the semifinals. Several young archers killed it in the compound eliminations making it through to the medal matches.

Breanna Theodore (Wibbing, Minnesota) at just 16 years old, qualified 5th and upset Danielle Reynolds (Gilbert, Arizona) in the quarterfinals before taking a 140-138 win over Lexi Keller (Omro, Wisconsin) to shoot for gold tomorrow morning. Keller had upset top seed Crystal Gauvin (Dayville, Connecticut) early in the day with a one-arrow shoot off win and will continue on to the bronze match.

Theodore will shoot against multi-time world champion Jamie Van Natta (Toledo, Ohio). Van Natta was stoked about her performance, following a rocky start to the season: "It's been a rough couple of years and Arizona was particularly terrible and so to maintain my ranking I really needed to make it on the podium here," commented Van Natta. "It's a huge relief just because I've been struggling so much and luck just hasn't been with me and this time luck was with me a little bit."

On the compound men's side, 23rd seed, junior Roy Green III (Cumberland, Wisconsin) upset Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Massachusetts) in the 1/16th and then Alex Wifler (Crete, Illinois) in the 1/8th and continued with strong scores to earn himself a place in the bronze final tomorrow.

"It was crazy, I came here today and didn't really shoot that great of a qualifying score, so I didn't really have anything to lose going into the matches," commented Green. "I just went into them trying to build on what I had started today and it worked out, I guess. Tomorrow, Bridger and I are going into the bronze medal match and we're both going to try to shoot tens and have some fun." Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho) and Steve Anderson (Salt Lake City, Utah) will shoot for gold.

On the recurve women's side, Audrey Hong (Encino, California) qualified first as a junior and is seeded 9th in the combined rankings with the seniors for eliminations tomorrow. Hong recently finished 4th in eliminations at the AAE Arizona Cup, which was also her first ever USAT event.

Not intimidated, Hong is looking to repeat her strong performance tomorrow: "I think about process a lot and decompressing. I try not to focus on the scores. This is my first time at the Gator Cup, and I'm having a really fun time," commented leading junior recurve women's scorer Audrey Hong. On her mindset for tomorrow she shared: "I don't put too much thought into the ORs, they don't really get to me even though we're mixed with the seniors. I'm pretty even keeled."

"I had a good day today," commented recurve men's top finisher Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona). "I just misread the wind on a couple of shots that kept me out of the 680s. So the scores were a little bit low, but we had some weather, so not bad. My focus for the rest of the weekend will be to win everything." For Ellison and the other top 8 men and women left in the running for Rio, scores from today counted towards the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Archery, final nomination shoot, which will conclude on Monday.

Complete results from today can be found here. Updated standings for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Archery, final nomination shoot are also available here. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more. 

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