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NEWBERRY, Florida - The Gator Cup competition opened today with qualification and the start of the second stage of the World Archery Championships - U.S. Team Trials and for compound archers, the World Games - U.S. Team Trials. The morning featured perfect shooting conditions with consistent sun and little to no wind. The afternoon saw winds pick up a little, but scores remained strong and highly competitive.
Paige Gore (Red Bluff, California) took the top qualification slot for the compound women with an incredible 354 second half for a total 703 - the highest score on the field all day! "My first half actually went the same," shared Gore. "I had one end that was a 55 because I had a bunch of 9s, but other than that it all felt the same all day. It was probably the most beautiful day of FITA I've ever shot. It's been over 100 degrees at home so this was perfect."
Looking towards the remainder of the Trials on Monday, she added: "After qualification we were all adding up the points, it's pretty close but I'd like to go to the World Championships. I also earned the U.S. our spot for the World Games, so I'd also really love to make the top two and go to that as well."
The compound men's bracket fluctuated throughout the afternoon, with the armless archer Matt Stutzman (Stockport, Iowa) falling just one point out of first in the able-bodied division with a 700 to Steve Anderson's 701. Stutzman was excited about the start of his breakout season in the able-bodied division and this marks his first pro 700.
USA's female W1 archer Lia Coryell (La Crosse, Wisconsin) scored a 567 for a personal best by over 20 points. Timothy Palumbo (Port Jeff Station, New York), who suffered a broken limb half-way through the day, took a solid win in the para recurve open men's qualification.
With a good number of men shooting in the collegiate division, Nathan Yamaguchi (Phoenix, Arizona), who qualified 4th at the National Outdoor Collegiate Championships in Chula Vista, California last week, took the top collegiate qualification slot, coming down to the last end in a close race to the finish. "It's great having a collegiate division at USAT events, and it's awesome to see the division growing - I think we have a lot more than double the collegiate archers here than at Arizona Cup. It was nice to see everyone since we were all just at nationals, and we had a great time; we were all laughing all day."
For the recurve seniors, Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona), who was shooting four-fletched arrows, scored a 679 to take the top seed over Canada's Crispin Duenas, and Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas) had a strong lead over the women's division, winning the top spot with a 26-point margin.
Seth Trahan (Sturbridge, Massachusetts), who has been shooting for nine years, made his first USAT podium today, taking the top seed for the cadet compound men in a hotly contested division. "It feels great," shared Trahan. "I'm excited. I just tried to think about other stuff on the line, not the scores so much, like my favorite song or what I'm having for dinner. We're probably going to go celebrate with pizza. My goal for the rest of the weekend is just to make good shots and hopefully make the podium again."
Competition resumes tomorrow with elimination matches. Complete results from today are available here. Updated standings from the Trials are available here. Live scores tomorrow will be available here. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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