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YANKTON, South Dakota - As the World Archery Indoor Championships began scoring today, the standout stories of the recurve morning session were two rising youth stars, and in the afternoon, all U.S. compound squads were on point with both men's teams ranking first and both women's teams qualifying second.
Adam Heidt and Jack Williams were two of the three recurve junior archers who earned World Champion titles and gold for Team USA at the World Archery Youth Championships in Rosario, Argentina last summer. Both archers are also resident athletes who live and train together at the Easton Archery Center of Excellence in Chula Vista, California.
Heidt was the highest ranking U.S. recurve archer across all divisions, qualifying 5th for the recurve junior men. Heidt has been working through some mental struggles since then to reach his success today. "I hit a road block last year with my shooting and I've been working my way back," shared Heidt. "This year has been pretty good so far."
For Heidt, who's ultimate goal is an Olympic medal, earning podium finishes at both the indoor and outdoor world championships would mean a lot. Just the experience of competing on Team USA alone has been an asset: "Confidence wise, this helps me a lot, showing me that I can do this. The people we're shooting with are going to be in Tokyo in 2020 so seeing that I'm on that level helps me."
Williams competes this weekend in the senior division alongside Olympic medalists Brady Ellison and Vic Wunderle. Ranking 5th as a team, Williams was in the middle of the pack, coming in 17th individually. In the first elimination match today, Williams had a tough matchup in opponent Ernesto Boardman of Spain. Cleaning with two perfect 30s in the final two sets, Williams came back to take a 6-4 victory.
Meanwhile, Ellison, who was 12th had a 5-1 lead over Germany's Rieger. The match slipped to a 5-5 tie and shoot off, with Rieger victorious and Ellison out. Teammate Wunderle just missed the cut, qualifying 36th, but will continue in the team competition tomorrow morning.
The U.S. compound junior and senior men took the competition by storm. In the senior class, Jesse Broadwater cleaned the first half with a perfect 300 with teammates Kris Schaff and Tate Morgan right behind with 299s. By the end of the day, they had flipped and Schaff took the top spot with a 598 as Morgan and Broadwater finished 2nd and 3rd with 597s.
Curtis Broadnax, who won the individual world youth champion title in Argentina last summer, qualified second today, just ahead of teammates Ethan King and Zach Harris. Broadnax commented: "Today was a lot of fun. I struggled in the beginning; my first three ends were kind of rough but after that everything smoothed out. My focus for the rest of the tournament is to shoot the best I can and to quote on quote grind and hopefully have a gold medal for team and individual." To have the indoor and outdoor world champion title It would be an awesome feeling, I would be very happy."
On his team's chemisty and top qualification spot, Broadnax added: "Ethan and Zach shot really well today, they had a few arrows get away just like me, but they did really well. We were goofing off a pretty good amount between ends, but whenever we got up to the line we were focused on shooting. It helps to take your mind off of things."
Compound junior world medalist Cassidy Cox, who has competed extensively for Team USA on both the youth and adult teams had the comeback of the day, jumping from 10th place to 5th in the last end of the first half and then ultimately qualifying 2nd. She commented: "My second half was almost 10 points better so that was awesome. I think I just relaxed a bit and wasn't worried about my score." Teammates Athena Caiopoulos was just a point behind ranking 3rd while Anna Scarbrough finished 17th and won an upset in her first match to continue.
The compound senior women were tight as Paige Gore, Breanna Theodore and Mary Hamm qualified 8th, 12th and 14th respectively, all within 4 points of each other. Tough first round matches saw Gore and Hamm both go to one arrow shoot offs. While all four archers drilled perfect 10s, the two U.S. women fell. Theodore was also upset early by just a single point. With great shooting and solid scores that were just beat out, the trio is still in great standing for the team competition.
Olympian Mackenzie Brown led the recurve women for Team USA, ranking 12th. After resetting at the break to refocus on string alignment she came back strong in her first elimination match and is feeling confident for the rest of the competition. Teammates Tatyana Muntyan and Crystal Gauvin ranked 15th and 19th respectively for a 5th place team qualification.
Inga Pever, who also competed at the World Archery Youth Championships last summer, led the recurve junior women, finishing 11th in qualification. With teammates Jennifer Kim and Katherine Wu, the team ranked 5th.
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