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PHOENIX, Arizona - The official team competition at Arizona Cup today featured top archers from around the world and the U.S. archers prepping for the first stage of the Archery World Cup in Shanghai later this month took center stage.
After clearing the quarterfinals, all bets were on, specifically an ice cream bet between the men's and women's compound teams. As both had byes through to the gold final, veteran squad Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho), Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Massachusetts) and Alex Wifler (Crete, Illinois), challenged the young women's team of Dahlia Crook (Piedmont, Kansas), Danielle Reynolds (Gilbert, Arizona) and Lexi Keller (Omro, Wisconsin).
The men had the win during the semifinal bye. For the gold final, the women challenged double or nothing, and while both teams won the gold, the women beat the men and earned their double scoop cones.
Men's team coach Mel Nichols (Glendale, Arizona) is rumored to be the original creator of the ice cream bet - now, a longstanding tradition, and fun way to motivate his archers. Mel insists: "The girls always cheat. But, the men really navigated the wind well and that was a big key for us, to put it in that ten ring, was communication when the first shooter came off the line to know where the next person had to aim and they did that beautifully."
"The ice cream bets are the best motivator," Mel added. "You can't go wrong with ice cream; it puts a smile on your face."
The women were very excited about their gold finish: "We worked great as a team together, and the win is going to feel even better with ice cream," commented Dahlia.
Coach Diane Watson (Hudson, Florida) was very proud of the team: "It's the first time they've shot together as a team and they worked really well together, they communicated really well, and so it's pretty exciting to see them come together like this."
"We felt really supported through the whole thing," added Lexi. Danielle echoed Lexi and said: "I'm excited for China, we're feeling strong going into Shanghai."
Not too disappointed about the ice cream bet loss, Reo Wilde had a great cheering section, led by his 5-year old daughter, Paige, who was waiting for her dad with a sleeve of Oreos after his gold win. Paige said she enjoyed watching her dad shoot and was very proud of him.
The recurve men's team of Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona), Jacob Wukie (Fremont, Ohio) and Zach Garrett (Wellington, Missouri) breezed through a 6-0 win in the semifinals to advance to gold where they also had a strong 6-2 win over Colombia for the top finish!
The recurve women, seeded 2nd, struggled in the semifinals with a 6-0 loss, but came back in the bronze final to force a shoot-off. Mongolia took the shoot-off win and the bronze, leaving the U.S. women fourth. A strong Colombia team took gold over Mexico.
Complete results from today can be found here. To join the action, use hashtag #Arizona Cup. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tune in tomorrow for individual eliminations from the 1/8th round through medal matches.
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