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May 14, 2011

Van Natta, Cousins, Leek, Ellison Win Gold Cup

Jamie Van Natta, who shot an unofficial qualifying round World Record yesterday, had a gold medal performance today in Bloomfield, New Jersey, where archers competed in the elimination round matches that decided the winners of the Gold Cup. The event, which was the third USAT Qualifier Series Event of the season, hosted many of the nation's top shooters, as well as archers from Canada. 


Weather conditions in Bloomfield were ideal, with overcast skies, cool temperatures and very little wind. "It's a day for shooting great scores," noted one archer. The compound women's field was ultimately narrowed to four archers, with Van Natta facing Paige Pearce in the semis; they were joined by Christie Colin and Diane Watson also vying for berths to the gold medal match. Ultimately, it was Van Natta and Watson who won their matches to advance; Pearce and Colin faced one another for the bronze, which Colin won with a 148-143 decision. In the gold medal match, it was a close back and forth contest between Van Natta and Watson; ultimately, Van Natta took the gold with a 145-143 win, with Watson taking the silver. 


For the compound men, Jesse Broadwater met Reo Wilde in the semis, taking a three point lead to secure his spot in the gold medal match, while Dave Cousins shot a 148 to Rodger Willet's 145 to advance. With the score tying repeatedly across the four archers, it was finally Willett who scored a 148 to take the bronze by 1. In the gold medal match, Cousins and Broadwater were closely matched, but Cousins shot two points stronger to clinch his gold medal win and give Broadwater the silver. 


The recurve women were equally well-matched, with veteran shooters Khatuna Lorig and Karen Scavotto meeting in the semis; though they took the match to four sets, it was Scavotto who advanced with a 6-2 win. It was also a close contest between Miranda Leek and Jennifer Nichols, which Leek ultimately took with a one arrow shoot-off. In the bronze match, Lorig shot well enough to take the medal with a 7-3 win versus Olympic teammate Nichols. Between Leek and Scavotto, it was a 7-1 decision in Leek's favor that gave her the gold medal for this event, and a silver for Scavotto. 


Resident Athlete Peter Kelchner, stopping Jake Kaminski in the quarterfinals, met Jacob Wukie in the semis, and had yet another victory, propelling himself to the gold medal match with a 7-3 win. Brady Ellison faced Thomas Stanwood in the same round, winning the match with a 6-0 shutout to advance. The contest between Wukie and Stanwood for the bronze was a close one, with Wukie finally winning his medal 6-5. Ellison, who broke his own national record yesterday, shot well enough for a 6-2 decision to take the gold medal to Kelchner's silver. 


Today is also the beginning of the second stage of the World Archery Championships Team Trials, which will decide the archers who will represent the U.S. at the World Archery Championships in Torino, Italy in July. Those athletes will participate in round robin matches today and Sunday in order to determine the team members. For complete scores from the Gold Cup, click here; for results from the World Archery Championships Team Trials, click here. 

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