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July 22, 2013

Team USA Back on Podium With Nine Medals at World Cup in Medellin

MEDELLIN, Colombia - Team USA archery is back, and in a big way. The American compound and recurve teams reasserted themselves at the third stage of the World Cup this weekend, claiming five team and four individual medals, including a first-ever individual World Cup medal for London 2012 Olympian Miranda Leek (College Station, Texas). 

In the compound event, Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho) took a gold medal win from teammate and World No. 1 Braden Gellenthien (College Station, Texas), dropping just nine points in very windy conditions, 141-136. Thanks to strong performances from both archers, Team USA has Gellenthien and Wilde in the number one and two World Ranking positions as of press time. The compound men's team, featuring Gellenthien, Wilde and Rodger Willett, Jr. (Gloucester, Va.) also took a team silver after a difficult - and very windy - final versus France. 

For the women, Erika Jones (Grand Island, Neb.) earned a silver medal after a tough match in the wind versus Alejandra Usquiano (COL) - and with her strong finish, also claims the number one spot in the World Rankings once again. Jones also worked with teammates Brittany Lorenti (Newtown, Conn.) and Carli Cochran (Willow Street, Pa.) to achieve a gold medal in the team event, winning a World Cup rematch with host country Colombia, 214-206. 

The recurve teams and athletes answered with medals of their own on Sunday. Both teams shot their way into the bronze medal matches, and both succeeded in earning hardware. The recurve men's team of Brady Ellison (Chula Vista, Calif.), Jacob Wukie (Oak Harbor, Ohio) and Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Fla.) reunited for the first time since the 2012 Olympic Games, and turned out another medal-winning performance versus the Canadian team, 218-209. 

The women's team, featuring London 2012 alums Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, Calif.) and Leek (College Station, Texas), along with newcomer Michelle Gilbert (Bethesda, Md.) had a tough opponent on their own hands with Mexico, a team featuring two Olympic Team members of its own. However, Team USA started out strong and finished the same way, edging out Mexico for the bronze medal, 207-196. 

The recurve mixed team of Ellison and Lorig also earned their spot in the gold medal match, and faced two of China's best archers. Though Team USA started out with the lead, windy conditions on the field made it a difficult competition. China was able to open the door and win the gold medal, while USA claimed silver despite their best efforts. 

Leek finished out the event for Team USA with a strong performance and a hard-fought silver medal. Facing Inna Stepanova of Russia, Leek kept her calm despite gusting winds to take an early lead in the match. Stepanova won the second and third sets, but Leek tied the fourth, making it a 5-3 match. Though she was unable to force a tiebreaker, Leek earned silver and her first-ever individual medal in World Cup competition.

For complete results, visit Team USA's next appearance on the World Cup circuit is the fourth stage in Wroclaw, Poland in August.

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