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April 10, 2024

USA setting the standard and setting the pace at the Pan American Championships

MEDELLIN, Colombia – Day one of competition at the 2024 Pan American Championships produced a gold medal in barebow mixed team and three new championship records in recurve as the USA got off to a flying start on Wednesday.

There was also good news for the two recurve teams chasing quota slots for the 2024 Olympic Games, with both finishing top after qualification.

The barebow pairing of Marcos Cooley – a gold medalist in the men’s team event two years ago – and back-to-back Arizona Cup champion Cindy Czako beat Brazil 6-0. Two years ago, the mixed team of Matt Yacca and Christina Lyons defeated the same opponent 5-1.

Elsewhere, the compound mixed team of Alexis Ruiz and Isaac Sullivan went into the elimination rounds as top seeds and, after overcoming Venezuela and Puerto Rico, they will tackle the host nation Colombia on Saturday afternoon in the gold medal match.

In the recurve men’s event, Brady Ellison powered his way to the number one spot with a score of 690. Ellison, Gabe Anderson and Jack Williams combined for 2032 points, beating the previous championship best – set by Ellison, Williams and Matt Requa in Medellin in 2018 – by 20 points.

There are 10 quota places available from the Pan Am Championships for the Olympic Games later in the year, with six of those being awarded to the team winners in both the men’s and women’s categories.

Ellison, Anderson and Williams will take the next step toward that goal on Thursday with a quarterfinal meeting against Puerto Rico or Venezuela.

“I am happy,” Ellison said. “We had good conditions and I shot well for the most part. The most important thing is the team shot amazing and that was the first step.”

In the recurve women, four of the top 10 places were filled by the USA. Casey Kaufhold managed the same score as top seed Alejandra Valencia (MEX) but will be seeded two due to having fewer X’s. Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez finished fifth in qualification, with Catalina GNoriega seventh and Molly Nugent 10th.

Like their male counterparts, the recurve women’s team also qualified as number one seeds and also set a new championship record. Their combined score of 1965 beat the previous high, set by Mexico in Medellin in 2018, by three points.

The race for Olympic quota slots is also very much on for the women. They begin against either Ecuador or Peru in the team quarterfinals on Saturday morning. Three quota slots will also go to the recurve women’s team gold medalist, unless that happens to be Mexico. If they win, the quota slots will be awarded to the silver medalists.

Elimination rounds in the individual competition start on Friday. Ellison meets Jose Manuel Balbuena Alarcon (PER) at the 1/16th stage, Anderson faces Camerin Pickering (BER), Williams – who came through his previous round 7-1 against Alexis Yanez (PAN) – tackles Andres Hernandez Vera (COL) and Jackson Mirich takes on Bruno Martinez Wing (MEX). Mirich won through his 1/32nd round match 7-3 over Daniel Fernando Velarde Gonzales (PER).

Kaufhold starts in the recurve women individual eliminations against Marcela Cortez (ESA). Mucino-Fernandez faces Mayte Camila Paredes Cachi (BOL), GNoriega meets Yailin Paredes (CUB), while Nugent plays Alma Fiorella Pueyo Lopez (ARG). Should GNoriega and Nugent come through their matches, then they will meet in the 1/8th round.

The third championship record was set in the recurve mixed team, courtesy of Ellison and Kaufhold. Their combined total of 1358 beat the record of 1342 set by Ellison and MacKenzie Brown in Medellin six years ago.

Ellison and Kaufhold enter the recurve mixed team elimination at the 1/8th round on Friday, facing the winner of Dominican Republic and Panama.

Compound competition continues on Thursday and as well as championship honors, there are also three spots available in both the men's and women's categories for the World Games. (A country can only win a maximum of two spots in each gender).

In the compound men, Isaac Sullivan qualified as second seed and has a bye to the 1/16th round where he will face Rey J Rosado (PUR) or Luis Jimeno (GUA). Steve Marsh will tackle Daniel Munoz (COL), and Eli Bartron meets Pablo Gomez Zuluaga (COL). Kevin Polish starts his elimination journey in the previous round, facing Bladimir Berdiales (PAN).

The USA had their four compound women inside the top 11 places after qualification, led by Ruiz (2nd) and followed by Carson Krahe (5th), Olivia Dean (10th) and Liko Arreola (11th). Ruiz awaits the winner of Rachel Amy Taylor-Brown (BAH) and Astrid Barria (PAN), Dean meets Larissa Aparecida Ferrari Oliveira (BRA), Arreola goes up against Mia Navarrete Vargas (ECU) and Krahe faces Natalie Nicole Petersen Pacas (GUA).

For the team competitions, Bartron, Marsh and Sullivan start against Guatemala on Friday in the quarterfinals. Dean, Krahe and Ruiz meet Puerto Rico.

Cooley led the charge for the USA in barebow men, finishing second after qualification. He is joined in the elimination rounds on Thursday by Patrick Fisk (5), Matthew Seidemann (6) and Binh Tran (9). Cooley tackles one of two Brazilians in the quarterfinals, facing the winner of Felipe Jose Dias Bicalho versus Rafael Del Alkmim Dias. Starting a round earlier, Fisk plays Fernando Siu (PAN), Seidemann goes against Fabio Wnuk Hollerback Klier (BRA) and Tran is tasked with overcoming Ricardo Paz (COL).

On the women’s side, gold medalist Czako is top seed, followed by Lyons. Kari Caulfield is seeded five and Amy Rayner-Cooley ninth. Rayner-Cooley will meet Czako in the quarterfinals on Thursday if she defeats Paola Constanza Escallon Labrador (COL). Caulfield knows her quarterfinal opponent and will look to get the better of Carla Roseli Martins Dias Bicalho (BRA). Lyons continues the defense of her title against Renata Rafaela Da Cruz Barros (BRA).

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