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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – When you assemble 40 of the country’s best archers for the Indoor Nationals Final, the expectation is that a high quality field will produce top quality archery, and that is exactly what we witnessed inside the Kentucky International Convention Center on Thursday afternoon.
Take any of the five winners, and all had a tale to tell.
Whether it was Isaac Sullivan in the men’s compound. He was appearing in the Final for the first time. The 18-year-old from Vermont opened with a win over defending champion Braden Gellenthien, before cementing a spot in the gold medal match with victory over Carson Sapp.
In the main event, Sullivan looked anything but a debutant as he defeated Kris Schaff. Schaff went in as the number one seed having broken a seven-year national record in qualifying for the Final.
Sullivan said, “I’ve been preparing like crazy for this, and to go against Kris (it) was a great experience.
“First time on the stage, here at top eight, and this has been a learning experience for me and I’m happy to take first – I’d have been just as happy to take second, too. I’m just out here having fun.”
Then there is the inspiring story of Robby Weissinger, who tragically lost his mom Tracy last month. His win in the barebow non-gender division highlighted the human spirit. The 24-year-old from Iowa needed a one-arrow shoot-off to win all three rounds in Louisville, including in the gold medal match against Marcus Cooley.
“Somebody was looking over me today,” admitted an emotional Weissinger. “It’s tough to block out major, major things in your life, and archery is definitely where I can be myself and I can shoot and none of the other troubles exist for a little bit.”
Elsewhere, Casey Kaufhold made it four in a row in the women’s recurve, overcoming Catalina GNoriega in the gold medal match. Paige Pearce did what she pledged to do heading to Kentucky, and that was to regain the women's compound title she had won three years on the bounce until Olivia Dean broke that run in 2022. Pearce beat Toja Ellison for the title. Toja’s husband Brady was beaten by Jack Williams in the men’s recurve in a battle between the top two seeds.
The top recurve, compound and barebow archers from 12 regional events of the 54th USA Archery Indoor Nationals competed in head-to-head elimination matches. The Final had a total prize purse of $71,500, with payouts to all places.
Relive all the gold medal matches on our YouTube channel, and hear reaction from the five winners on USA Archery’s Facebook page.< Back to All News