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Carver, Mass., located just outside of Boston, seemed a fitting place for 134 archers to celebrate Independence Day, as shooters from the USA and Canada gathered for the first-ever Nor'Easter, a Jr./Sr. United States Archery Team Selection Event. Held on the Carver High School field, a site which has previously hosted JOAD National Championships, the Nor'Easter brought some of the sport's heaviest hitters out to play.
Following an open practice on Friday, July 2, archers gathered on the field beginning at 7 a.m. on Saturday to prepare for the day's 72-arrow qualification round. Following official practice and opening ceremonies, the event's first arrows flew under clear skies, and the field heated up quickly as did the competition. After the first 36 arrows, the recurve men were led by U.S. Archery Team member Thomas Stanwood, who shot a solid 333, followed by five-time U.S. Olympic Team member Butch Johnson with a 330. Rick Tollis rounded out the top three with a 329. For the women, U.S. Olympian Karen Scavotto held a solid lead with 318 points, followed by Victoria Kheel with 277.
On the compound side, Jamie Van Natta led the women at the half with her 349, followed closely by Christie Colin with a 347; 2010 Gold Cup champion Erika Anschutz trailed, 339. For the men, Rodger Willett, Jr. led the pack with a strong 354; 2009 National Champion Jesse Broadwater stayed close behind with 352 points; and Braden Gellenthien held third with a 351.
Despite a variable breeze throughout the second half, USA Archery Resident Athlete Jake Kaminski managed to pull up strong to shoot the high score for the second thirty-six arrows; however, it wasn't quite enough to unseat Johnson, who qualified first for men's recurve at the end of the day. Solid shooting by fellow two-time Olympic medalist Vic Wunderle propelled him to a second-place finish for the qualification round, and Kaminski rounded out the top three. For the women, Scavotto never relinquished her lead, qualifying first with a 639; strong shooting from Brandi Mantha in the second half brought her into the second-place position with a 553.
In the compound men's class, Willett and Gellenthien shot matching 349s during the second half to qualify first and second, respectively. Overall, Willet scored a 703 and Gellenthien a 700. A solid showing from Duane Price had him shooting the third-highest score for the second 36 arrows, but he wasn't able to edge out Broadwater, who managed to hold on to the third-place qualifying position with a 696 total. On the women's side, Erika Anschutz shot strong to finish first for the second half, but it wasn't enough to push her past a third-place seeding, with her 680 overall. Despite a drop in score during the second 36 arrows, Van Natta and Colin were able to hold on to their first- and second-place rankings, respectively.
As a Junior and Senior USAT Selection Event, the Nor'Easter also hosted many of the nation's top cadet and junior archers in compound and recurve divisions. Juniors are combined with the senior divisions when elimination round brackets are developed; however, juniors received qualifying round awards for their ranking within their own divisions. For the Recurve junior men, Carlisle Brackin led the pack, qualifying first with a 512; Anthony Agnese followed with a 510, and Keshon St. Bernard rounded out the top three with a 479. For the Recurve junior women, JOAD National Champion and U.S. Youth Olympic Games team member Miranda Leek finished first with a 608; Michelle Gilbert qualified second with a 566, and Emily Blake rounded out the top three with her 561. Compound junior male archer Joey Hunt III earned a first-place ranking in his division with 682, followed closely by Garrett Abernathy, 681, and Adam Gallant with his 679. For the compound junior women, Tristan Skarvan shot a solid 672 to claim first in the ranking round; Sarah Lance scored a 651 to qualify second, and Carli Cochran rounded out the top three with 650.
Cadet awards were presented at the conclusion of the first day, as cadet awards are given solely on the basis of the qualification round. JOAD National Champion and U.S. Youth Olympic Games team member Benjamin Chu led the cadet recurve men with his 645; Christopher Luman qualified second at 597 points, followed by Dillon McMenamy with a 585. Ariel Gibilaro led the women's group with her 583; Heather Trafford took second-place honors with a 576, and Hunter Jackson held third with 554. Compound shooter and Youth World Championship gold medalist Alexander Sahi shot a strong 681 to take first for the cadet compound men; he was followed by Hunter Heavner, 677, and Ivan Harangozo with his 676. For the cadet women, Julie Anne Hoffman qualified first with a 654; Isabelle Dionne earned second with 648, and Gabrielle Cyr rounded out the group in third place at 638.
Sunday dawned mostly clear and very warm as junior and senior archers began elimination rounds using the FITA set system. The compound men took to the field for their 1/16 elimination, followed by all divisions shooting their 1/8. The quarterfinals saw the wind pick up steadily, and by the semifinal matches, the inconsistent breeze was keeping the game interesting for all. In the compound men's division, Roger Willett, Jr. and Jesse Broadwater were eventually paired for the gold-medal match, while Ben Cleland and Braden Gellenthien shot for the bronze. For the women, Tristan Skarvan shot strong to advance to the gold-medal match with Erika Anschutz; Jamie Van Natta and Christie Colin moved to shoot for the bronze. On the other side of the field, Rick Tollis and Jake Kaminski moved on to shoot for gold, while Butch Johnson and Vic Wunderle faced off for the bronze. In female recurve, Miranda Leek advanced to compete with Karen Scavotto for the gold medal, while Michelle Gilbert and Brandi Mantha shot for bronze.
Broadwater established a commanding lead over Willett, and eventually claimed the gold medal to Willett's silver, 6-2, while Cleland and Gellenthien tied 5-5, and despite a one-arrow shoot-off, could not resolve the tie, resulting in a second shoot-off. Cleland emerged the eventual bronze-medal winner. On the other side of the field, the compound women were completely tied on two occasions, but Anschutz finally pulled ahead, taking the gold medal, 7-3, and giving Skarvan the silver. Van Natta was also the winner of her match with the same score, securing the bronze medal in her match with Colin.
Recurve archer Kaminski shot strong against Tollis, securing a 6-2 lead to take the gold medal and position Tollis for the silver. After a tie and a single arrow shoot-off, Wunderle won his match against Johnson, taking the bronze. For the women, Miranda Leek shot well against a difficult competitor in her match with Scavotto, and Leek emerged the gold-medal winner, 6-2. Junior Dream Team member Michelle Gilbert also won her match against Mantha with the same score, giving Gilbert the bronze.
The State Archery Association of Massachusetts hosted the Nor'Easter; complete results are available at http://www.massarchery.org.
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