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May 15, 2023

World Cup hopefuls medal at the record-breaking Gator Cup

NEWBERRY, Fla. – The 14th Gator Cup, held at the Easton Newberry Archery Center, was a record-breaking affair as almost 750 archers competed in northern Florida.

The Gator Cup was the second of four events in the United States Archery Team (USAT) Qualifier Series. The remaining two will be the SoCal Showdown in Chula Vista, CA, and then the Buckeye Classic in Dublin, OH.

Prior to jetting off to the World Cup Stage 2 in Shanghai, China, the USA pair of Brady Ellison and Kris Schaff took gold and bronze in Newberry in the recurve men and compound men respectively.

Casey Kaufhold maintained her fine form with victory in the recurve women, while Tanja Gellenthien claimed gold in the compound women.

The event concluded on the Sunday with U21 gold medal matches in recurve and compound. Recurve golds went the way of top seeds Conner Chia and Samantha Ensign. In the compound, there was success for Isaac Sullivan and Samantha Roberts.

Chia’s 6-4 victory over Kian Dadkhah was not without problems, though, as he explained, “My arrow rest came loose. That four (opening arrow of the third end) was a big surprise, but that was me with my Allen key trying to set it back on the fly.”

In the barebow division, top seeds Wallace Woodlief and Maggie Brensinger won gold in their respective matches. Richard Stonebraker made it back-to-back USAT success with a 6-4 win over Kyle Olson in the barebow 50+ men. Lisa Sullivan, silver medalist at Arizona Cup, went one better in Florida.

John Stephens overcame John Sarazin, winner in Arizona, in the barebow U21 men. Abigail Sparpaglione won the women’s equivalent. Jamie DiGiacomo finished strong to defeat Carley Thompson in the barebow U18 women. Things were a little more straightforward for Jacob Olmstead in the barebow U18 men, as he overcame Josiah Bloomfield 6-0.

Cammie Shuman comfortably won the fixed pins U21 women. Cammie Kitchens was equally dominant in the fixed pins U18 men, while it was a little closer in the U18 women, eventually won by Maddison Stratton after a one arrow shoot-off.

Ellison earlier got the better of Arzona Cup winner Jackson Mirich in the recurve men. Kaufhold beat Florida native Alexandria Zuleta-Visser. Another Floridian, Mark Williams, won the recurve 50+ men, with Janis Grellner defeated top seed Susan Bock in the recurve 50+ women.

Jin Kang won the recurve U18 men, but required a shootoff to settle matters with Joshua Beek. In another all-New Jersey gold medal match, Akshara Vijay beat Amy Lee in the recurve U18 women.

Sawyer Sullivan warmed-up nicely for Collegiate Target Nationals with victory in the compound men’s category, narrowly edging out Austin Taylor 148-147. Gellenthien needed a one-arrow shoot-off to pip Paige Pearce in the compound women.

Landyn Cox of Kentucky won the battle between the top two seeds in the compound U18 men. Leann Drake made it two from two, following up her success in Arizona with a win in the compound U18 women.

The compound 50+ men went to Kenneth Brunko, as he narrowly defeated Timothy Gillingham. Diane Watson came through in the compound 50+ women against Deanna Cronin.

Full results from Gator Cup can be found on BetweenEnds. Photo galleries from the event are on USA Archery’s SmugMug page, while you can re-live the U21 gold medal matches in recurve and compound on the YouTube channel.

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