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June 22, 2014

SoCal Showdown Awards Championship Medals

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - The SoCal Showdown, presented by Flexor, hosted elimination round matches on Saturday night and Sunday that took the weekend's competition to a completely different level. While Saturday night featured many of the country's best 15-17 year old archers competing, today's eliminations featured junior and senior archers combined based on their qualification scores from yesterday, and seeded into matchplay brackets. Wind became a major player in today's competition, kicking up variable breezes to keep archers guessing as the flags continued to change direction. 

Brady Ellison had a consistent performance when it was most needed today, delivering a 6-0 shutout win to take gold versus Olympic teammate and fellow London 2012 medalist Jake Kaminski. Ellison explained that he struggled a bit with his equipment for this event, following a delayed bow case arrival from last weekend's World Cup in Turkey. 

"I shot good. The rankiing round flat out sucked, I wasn't very happy, I didn't shoot very good. I shot a little better today. I had three different bows this weekend, I had one for practice day, then I shot my normal bow yesterday and I didn't like it, so I built a new bow that I took out of my closet today. This setup seems to be going a little bit better today, so we'll see if I can't maybe shoot a little bit better in Poland and maybe make the [World Cup] Final." 

The bronze medal final for the recurve men featured Sean McLaughlin, who had to advance past twin brother Daniel to reach the finals, and Matthew Zumbo, who heads to the World University Archery Championships in Poland next week. McLaughlin clinched the bronze, 6-2. 

The compound women's finals featured a fearsome foursome in Sarah Lance, Crystal Gauvin, World No. 1 Erika Jones, and Carli Cochran. Lance and Gauvin's match came down to the wire - and a single point - after a back and forth that left Lance pleased with her win, and Gauvin wanting a bit more. "I would have loved to take my first gold at a USAT event, but I've been improving [at] every tournament this year," Gauvin commented. "Everybody better watch out come Texas."  

"I've been shooting really great and putting a lot of hard work in," noted Lance. "It was just take one shot at a time and just strong, confident shots and if you need to let down, don't be afraid to do it." In the bronze medal final, Jones ultimately prevailed over Cochran after a very close match, pulling ahead in the final ends to win bronze, 143-138. 

For the compound men, Steve Anderson and Henry Bass shook up the podium, shooting their way to the gold medal final. These two archers were evenly matched, but Anderson ultimately prevailed with a 142-141 win, claiming his first gold medal win at a USAT Qualifier Series Event, and giving Bass the silver. Bronze went to Reo Wilde, who pulled ahead of Tim Gillingham, 146-140. 

The recurve women's title went to Mackenzie Brown, who has proven her mettle in recent months with strong performances in domestic and international events. Brown stopped five time Olympian Khatuna Lorig to win the gold, 6-2. Walking away with the bronze was Stephanie Kim in her first senior podium finish, edging out Ariel Gibilaro with the same score. 

For cadet archers - ages 15-17 - head to head matchplay ran into the evening on Saturday, with archers posting very competitive match scores despite darkness falling. Noah Shedroff, Geun Kim and Cody Offchiss comprised the recurve cadet men's podium, taking gold, silver and bronze in a category that showed strong depth of field. Eliana Claps, Christine Kim and Alice Buswell earned gold, silver and bronze respectively for the recurve cadet women. 

For the compound cadets, it was Samuel White, Kevin Clayton and Jeremy Corridori scoring gold, silver and bronze medals for the men; Athena Caiopoulos, Allie Blazek and Alexis Ruiz clinched the top three spots, respectively, for the women. With their podium finishes, all of the archers will gain precious points in the national rankings in addition to SoCal Showdown medals. 

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