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PHOENIX, Arizona – The first United States Archery Team (USAT) Qualifier Series event of 2019 is in the books following a long day of heated and intense elimination matches. With record breaking participation of nearly 600 archers, this competition was cutthroat.
The senior recurve winners, Brady Ellison and Casey Kaufhold had stellar performances all week, including winning the World Archery Championships Team Trials and qualifying high in ranking. The women’s podium also featured collegiate archer from Texas A&M Ariel Gibilaro and Youth Olympic Team Member Catalina GNoriega.
Tom Stanwood, who was also nominated to the World Championship team last week finished with silver and after climbing from a 20th place qualification, Seth McWherter finished with the bronze.
After making his second consecutive world team and a strong Arizona Cup finish, Stanwood shared: “I felt like I turned a corner late in the indoor season and I was able to spend some time out in Chula Vista and I saw great results right away. I’m glad I was able to come here and continue on that upward trajectory. I’m excited to get home and properly practice some of the new positions I’m working on and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Paige Pearce topped the compound senior women’s podium with Savannah Vanderwier winning silver and Toja Ellison taking home bronze. “There is really stiff competition out there,” shared Pearce. “he girls keep improving and it’s getting harder and harder to win every year and every tournament, but it was a good day, it went well.” On heading into compound world team trials this afternoon she added: “I’m really excited, coming off this win is a good confidence builder.”
Following many bracket upsets and tight matches, the Netherlands’s Mike Schloesser took the compound senior men’s gold. Tim Gillingham overcame a 10th place qualification to win the silver and Tate Morgan finished with bronze.
On home turf, Arizonan Spencer Yee took home the compound junior men’s gold in an incredibly competitive division. "This tournament helped me get a good start in USAT ranking," commented Yee. On knowing this field well, he added: "It tends to be pretty swirly, so there are some tips and tricks to counteract that. I’m ready to get back into the swing of things, the usual, and see what happens from here."
Notable bracket upsets included Eun Hye Lee climbing from 23rd to win silver for the recurve cadet women. Gabrielle Sasai took the gold after a 4th place qualification and some strong match performances.
Following the selection of the recurve team for the 2019 Pan American Games and World Archery Championships, the compound and Para teams will be nominated on Monday. Match play begins this afternoon for the compound archers.
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