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June 03, 2013

Gator Cup Champions Bring the Heat

NEWBERRY, Fla - Khatuna Lorig, Brady Ellison, Reo Wilde and Erika Jones brought their own brand of sizzle to a hot field at the 4th annual Easton Foundations Gator Cup, boosting their national rankings and clinching gold medal finishes. 

Lorig shot her way through match wins versus formidable opponents in the recurve women's category, proving that five Olympic Games' worth of competitive experience comes in handy on a tough field. Holly Stover, who shot her way to the gold medal match versus Lorig, finished the day with a silver medal; Lorig delivered a perfect 30 in the final end for the win, 6-2. In the bronze medal match, it was Michelle Gilbert who delivered the win versus Erin Mickelberry, 7-3. 

Jones was non-stop in the compound women's category, edging out Tristan Skarvan in the semifinal to meet World Cup teammate Jamie Van Natta in the silver medal match. This was a close showdown in which Jones fought her way back from a deficit in the first end to win her gold medal and the Gator Cup crown, 142-139. Skarvan made her own mark in the bronze medal match versus Gabrielle Cyr, taking the hardware with a 143-136 victory.

Ellison had to win some tough matches to earn his berth to the recurve men's gold matchup versus fellow Olympic silver medalist Jake Kaminski, who Ellison passed with a 6-0 shutout. In the gold medal matchup it was fellow Resident Athlete Joe Fanchin who presented a tough challenge for Ellison, leading the match initially. Both archers tied the score at 3-all and then again at 5-all, showing their archery chops. With the match coming down to a one arrow shoot-off, Ellison delivered a 9 to Fanchin's 8 to win the gold. Kaminski took a medal of his own, shooting a 6-4 win versus Canada's Crispin Duenas, the top qualifier for the event.

The compound men's category was equally tough, with Wilde coming out on top after tough matchups with Kendall Woody in the semifinal; Wilde secured his spot in the gold medal final only after a 10-9 tiebreaker win. The gold medal match became a World Cup Final rematch, with Wilde facing teammate Braden Gellenthien, who wasn't giving any points away. With both archers tied at just three points down in the end, Wilde was closest to the center, earning the gold medal and giving Gellenthien the silver. The bronze medal match was a showdown between Rodger Willett, Jr. and Woody; in yet another tied match, Willett was also closer to the center, joining Wilde and Gellenthien on the podium. 

For complete results, visit USA Archery has released photos and video from the event on Facebook: The excitement continues in Florida today with the World Archery Championships - U.S. Team Trials, during which the team representing the United States at the World Championships later this year will be selected. Follow Team Trials results LIVE on Twitter: 

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