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April 17, 2023

Youth bring down the curtain on the largest-ever Arizona Cup

PHOENIX – With almost 800 archers competing across three days, a record-breaking Arizona Cup came to a thrilling close on Sunday afternoon as the youth divisions did battle at the Ben Avery Archery Range.

Local archer Joseph Huey overcame early nerves to defeat Jacob Kim in the recurve U21 men’s. The recurve women’s gold medal was claimed by Michelle Ahn, who beat twin sisters Samantha and Grace Lum in the semifinals and final respectively.

The compound U21 men’s crown went to Parker Braddock. A pivotal third end turned a two point deficit into a one point advantage, and from there he held on against a strong top seed Isaac Sullivan.

Ximena Estrada saw off leading seed Sydney Sullenberger in the compound U21 women’s semifinals before seeing off Claire Garrison 136-135 in their gold medal match.

Huey had vocal support from family and friends, and insisted that helped him build toward the win. He said, “Over there (on the finals field) it was very nervous.

“I wasn’t really ready for that stage (but) having so many people behind me cheering me on really helped overcome those nerves early on.”

Despite appearing so strong in her 6-0 win over Grace Lum in the women’s recurve, Michelle Ahn also admitted to having to adjust to the setting and the occasion.

“It was definitely nerve-wracking being up there,” she said. “But my shots were pretty strong, I shot pretty good (and) shot pretty good.”

The biggest smile of the day certainly seemed to belong to Parker Braddock. He finished – in his words – a disappointing sixth earlier in the week at the World Archery Youth Championship Team Trials but walked off with gold in the compound U21 men’s event.

“I had a rough indoor season, and didn’t win as many as I’d like,” he said. “I came into this tournament just wanting to shoot as many good shots as I could, and let the results happen.

“I took every shot one by one and when you get up into the shoot-down, and there’s the top guys, anyone can win at any time, so my arrows fell in the right spot and I ended up getting the win.”

Elsewhere in the U21 category, and there were wins in the barebow division for top seeds John Sarazin in the men’s and Anastacia Godman in the women’s.

There were also golds given out in the U18 division. In the recurve, there was a decisive third end in the men’s match as Matthew Parmenter beat Patrick Nielsen in a closely-fought contest.

Audrey Khan Arevalo had quite the day in the recurve U18 women. She qualified as the 51st seed and made it all the way to the gold medal match before losing to Lily Lin, the ninth seed. Milla Shanklin, the 44th seed, contested the bronze medal match, which was won by second seed Riley Tateyama.

It was a battle of the top seeds in the compound U18 men, with Dewey Hathaway (1) posting a maximum in the third end, which proved decisive in his win over Grady Kane (2).

Leann Drake (2) was victorious over Madison Ritter (8) in the compound U18 women, while in the U18 barebow – as with the U21s – victory went to the top seeds in each category, with Anthony Malik and Maya Young grabbing gold.

Results from the AAE Arizona Cup can be found on Between Ends. There is also a photo gallery from each day of competition.

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