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April 14, 2023

Points on the board to start competition at Arizona Cup and U.S. team trials

PHOENIX – Familiar faces filled the leading places after day one of the Arizona Cup, which is also doubling as Stage 1 of the U.S. team trials for the World Archery Championships, World Archery Para Championships, Pan Am Games and Parapan Am Games for recurve and compound.

Brady Ellison and Casey Kaufhold topped the senior recurve men’s and women’s qualification rounds respectively with scores of 690 and 657. Mike Schloesser of the Netherlands posted 713 to top the compound senior men’s field, while Arizona native Alexis Ruiz was the leading light in the compound women with a 704.

“I had two ends I wish I could change a little bit,” admitted Ruiz. “But with the wind, and with it switching, I think I handled it really well.”

Ruiz is training to be a nurse, so she has had to adjust her approach to archery.

“I’ve definitely learned quality over quantity,” she said. “I do get to shoot – not every day – but I graduate nursing school in 13 days, so I’m almost there, and then I’ll be able to train a lot more than I am now.”

Despite shooting a 690, which was 22 more than second highest qualifier Jackson Mirich, leading men’s recurve archer Ellison knows he can do even better.

He said, “I was a little hesitant in my round today. I felt like I shot a little soft, so I shot a lot more nines than I wanted to… but I’m not upset for the first tournament, coming out and shooting a 690. It’s a good score, a solid score, and I think I can build off that for tomorrow.”

Marcus Cooley, who scored a 478 was some way clear in the men’s barebow division. Top seed in the women’s barebow was another local, Sara Gebhardt with a 444.

Cooley admitted to feeling a little fatigue heading down the stretch, but he put that down to an early start to watch and coach his daughter, McKenna.

In the qualification rounds for the recurve 50+ men, Scott Bowman leads the way with 637. The top qualifier in the recurve 50+ women was Susan Bock with 591. In the compound 50+ men’s division, Utah’s Timothy Gillingham emerged as number one with 696. Deanna Cronin scored 658 in claiming number one spot among the compound 50+ women.

As for divisions counting toward the World and Pam Am Team Trials, Kris Schaff is the leading USA archer in the men’s compound, behind Schloesser. Elsewhere, Kevin Mather won the para  recurve men open, with Candice Caesar claiming the recurve women open title. Kj Polish finished first in the para compound men open, and the compound women open gold went to Wendy Gardner.

Jason Tabansky took gold in the W1 open men category, and Tracy Otto the W1 open women.

Results from the AAE Arizona Cup can be found on Between Ends. There is also a photo gallery from each day of competition.

There will be a livestream of the U21 compound and recurve gold medal matches on USA Archery’s YouTube channel at 2pm local time on Sunday afternoon.

USAT Schedule

  • AAE Arizona Cup: April 14-16
  • Easton Foundations Gator Cup: May 12-14
  • Easton Foundations SoCal Showdown: June 9-11
  • Rebel Gear Buckeye Classic: July 28-30
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