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June 08, 2024

Para hopefuls on show while repeat champions among the winners at the 2024 SoCal Showdown

The U18 and U21 archers took center stage on Saturday at the 2024 Easton Foundations SoCal Showdown in Chula Vista, Calif., with elimination matches bringing us winners across barrow, compound, fixed pins and recurve.

There were also medalists in the open divisions, including a couple of those selected to represent the USA at the 2024 Paralympic Games.

Michelle Ahn successfully defended her recurve U21 women’s title, while Landyn Cox stepped up to win gold in the compound U21 men, having won at U18 level a year ago.

Ahn claimed gold for the second year in a row when defeating second seed Abigail Kippes 6-4. Erin Flores took bronze. Cox toppled number one seed Eli Bartron, winning 142-141, snatching gold with a maximum 30 points on the final end to overturn a three-point deficit for the slenderest of victories. Bronze went to Allen Alihodzic.

Elizabeth Howe was another to enjoy back-to-back success, this time in the barebow U18 women. Howe defeated Katherine Kluzak 6-0 in a battle between the top two seeds. Kaitlyn Player picked up the bronze.

Reigning champion Bryce Henak had to settle for silver in the barebow U18 men, with Owen Meador winning the last two ends for a 6-4 victory. It was a little more straightforward for Ronin Tsai, as he took bronze with a 6-0 win over Thor Pahl.

Recurve U21 men was won by Cameron Senay, though Oscar Jan performed superbly to reach the gold medal match having finished 20th after qualification. Dylan Soong again had to be content with fourth, as he was denied bronze by Sam Dornan.

Harley Kenney took bronze as the 24th seed in the recurve U18 women, with gold going to Vinusha Sridhar and silver to Tripura Reddy.

In the compound U21 women, Ella O’Brien pushed hard in the final end, scoring 28 to Katherine Krebs’s 26, but it was not enough as her fellow Arizona native won 135-134. Madison Gaugler came away with bronze.

There was also a one point margin separating Jacob Merkel and Caleb Quiocho in the compound U18 men. Merkel managed 142 to Quiocho’s 141. Suraj Nalam claimed bronze. The story was the same in the compound U18 women, with top seed Kaylee Gurney holding on for victory over Jacey Cypriano 141-140. Cypriano did all she could in the final end, scoring 30, with Gurney firing in 28 to squeeze home. The bronze went to Khloe Markle.

The one and two seeds met at the gold medal stage in both the barebow U21 men and women. Ethan Mitchell and Jaelyn Coleman both came out on top, overcoming Jacob Saltzberg and Elizabeth Lykins respectively.

Griffin Witty went one better than last year, when he was beaten to gold in the fixed pins U18 men in a one arrow shoot off, with a convincing 140-123 win over Carl Brooks. Olivia Blanchard took gold in the fixed pins U18 women.

Liam Lee swept to gold in the recurve U18 men, as he beat Chris Rhee 6-0. The bronze medal match required a one arrow shoot off, with Brody Wheeldon coming through that one.

Eric Bennett and Jordan White were gold and bronze medal winners in the recurve men open division. Both will be on the plane to Paris for the Paralympics. Michael Lukow split the pair, taking silver. Bennett claimed gold by just one point.

Candie Caesar took home the honors in the recurve open women, from Karen Rocha and Suzie Rhodes. Kyle Tremblay won the compound open men, and Debbie Valorous the compound open women. The W1 open went to Damon Whittaker.

SoCal Showdown concludes on Sunday with seniors and masters in action. The senior gold medal matches in compound, barebow and recurve will be broadcast live on USA Archery’s Facebookand You Tube channel from 2pm PT.

Photos from the SoCal Showdown
 will be posted at the end of each session. Latest scores and results can be found on Between Ends.

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