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April 07, 2024

Rush of medals for U18 and U21 on the final day of the USAT Qualifier Series opener

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Fifteen gold medal matches were contested across barebow, compound, fixed pins and recurve on Sunday as the curtain came down on the 2024 AAE Arizona Cup, the first of four events in the United States Archery Team (USAT) Qualifier Series.

In a battle between the top two seeds, number one Joshua Baek overcame Patrick Nielsen of Arizona 6-0 to win gold in the recurve U21 men. Nielsen was also silver medalist last year, though in the U18 age category. Chap Post took bronze.

Nielsen’s fellow-Arizona archer Abigail Kippes tumbled at the quarterfinal stage last year when number one seed in the recurve U21 women. She was seeded two this time around but went on to win a back-and-forth affair 6-4 over top seed and 2021 winner Eunice Haeri Choi. The 2022 and 2023 champion, Michelle Ahn, picked up bronze.

Aarya Arun went out at the quarterfinals last year in the recurve U18 men, when aged just 12. This year, the now 13-year-old went all the way, beating Carson Chan 6-2. Jin Kang won bronze.

In the recurve U18 women’s event, 25th seed Kaitlynn Ahn reached the gold medal match, where she lost out to Taylor Cho (6). On her way to the final, Ahn knocked out the eighth seed Anuskha Nag in the 1/16th round, top seed Hailey Franzone in the quarterfinals and fourth seed Jina Chon in the semifinals. Danica Morissette was the bronze medal winner.

Eli Bartron finished fourth last year in the compound U21 men and this year found himself in the gold medal match, where he was defeated 145-138 by top seed Sergio Garcia. Bronze went to Landen Witmer.

The compound U21 women’s gold medal went to Brianna Laux (5). She overcame Elyse Matus (7) 137-134, with ends two and three being the difference. Lanie Nash, the third seed, picked up the bronze.

Dewey Hathaway made it back-to-back wins at Arizona Cup in the compound U18 men. The double gold medalist from the 2023 World Archery Youth Championships defeated Carson Pak 145-137. Top seed Caleb Quiocho edged second seed Jacob McArthur in a high-scoring bronze medal match courtesy of a one arrow shootoff.

A one arrow shootoff settled the bronze medal in the compound U18 women, with Frances Barrera coming through against Khloe Markle. Gold went to number one seed Kaylee Gurney, with a 140-138 win over Taylor Miller.

Andrew Van Why picked up bronze for the second year running in the barebow U21 men, having taken silver in 2022 as a U18. Gold went to Elijah Hillensbeck as the number one seed saw off second seed Jacob Saltzberg 6-0. Hillensbeck won silver in the U18 age category 12 months ago.

In the barebow U21 women’s gold medal match, Riley Adams defeated defending champion Anastacia Godman in a one arrow shootoff. Top seed Sarah Kate Jentsch claimed bronze.

Anthony Malik had to settle for bronze this year in the barebow U18 men’s division. The 2023 winner was denied the chance to repeat by eventual champion Owen Meador. Meador beat top seed Bryce Henak in the gold medal match, 6-2.

Corrin Turner went one better than last year in winning silver in the barebow U18 women. Gold went to number one seed Elizabeth Howe and bronze to Katherine Kluzak.

The first medals of the day went in the fixed pins U21 women, which was won by Madalynn Puryear after victory over Destinie Brown, 117-116. Brown won silver at the U18 level last year.

Eric Hughes followed up his gold medal at Arizona Cup in 2023 with a successful defense, defeating Carl Brooks 138-134. Griffin Witty, the second seed, took bronze.

The fixed pins U18 women’s competition was won by Olivia Blanchard. In a meeting of the top two seeds, Blanchard beat second seed Maddison Stratton 127-123. Third seed Audrey Overton took bronze.

Results from the 2024 AAE Arizona Cup can be found on Between Ends, with action photos from each day of competition on USA Archery’s SmugMug page.

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