US Juniors/Cadets Set 3 WRs and Take 8 Medals at Junior Worlds
On last October 6th through the 12th, 501 of the top junior archers from 60 countries traveled to Kundu-Antalya, Turkey to compete at the Youth World Championships. The United States Junior World team consisted of twenty-four archers from all over the United States:
Cadet Female Recurve
Miranda Leek, Des Moines, IA
Emily Blake, Colchester, VT
Tabitha Kovac, Simi Valley
Cadet Male Recurve
Joshua Smith, Riverside, CA
Matthew Zumbo , Fountain Valley, CA
Ben Roop, Monroe, WA
Junior Female Recurve
Heather Kohl, Sheboygan Falls, WI
Anna Harrington, Bernardsville, NJ
Jessica Gibbs, Burton, MI
Junior Male Recurve
Tyler Schardt, McKinney, TX
Anthony Don, Tucson, AZ
Glen Thomas, Mercer, PA
Cadet Female Compound
Kailey Johnston, Dublin, GA
Paige Pearce, Red Bluff, CA
Tristan Skarvan, Elk Mound, WI
Cadet Male Compound
Connor Kelly, Huntington Beach, CA
Levi Cyr, Falmouth, ME
Joey Hunt III, Minot, ME
Junior Female Compound
Kendal Nicely, Gorham, ME
Samantha Pruitte, Harlem, GA
Seneca Francis, Smithfield, UT
Junior Male Compound
Adam Wruck, Rice, MN
Adam Gallant, Poland, ME
Ben Cleland, Swanton, OH
Kisik Lee (Head Coach)
Linda Beck (Coach)
Robert Romero (Coach)
Kevin Eldridge (Team Leader)
Sharon Lafayette (Team Leader)
All archers participated in an official practice held on Monday. The FITA round took place on Tuesday and Wednesday. The FITA scores were used to determine the ranking positions for the individual Olympic Rounds, and then the FITA scores of each three-person team were then added together to determine the team's ranking position. The United States compound archers faired well in the individual, as well as in the team ranking.
The Compound Cadet men and women dominated their divisions. Connor Kelly, ranked third, shot a 1391 and set a new world record at 30 meters with a perfect 360 points with 25 X's. The record broken by Kelly was previously held by his teammate Levi Cyr who finished in 5th place with a score of 1378. Joey Hunt III finished in 16th place with a score of 1357. With a team score of 4,126 points, the USA took 1st, with Mexico in 2nd scoring 4,114 and Canada ranked 3rd with 4,062 points. In the Women's Compound Cadet Division, Paige Pearce and Tristan Skarvan of the United States tied for 1st, finishing the FITA round with a score of 1387 points. However, Skarvan shot two more 10's than did Pearce which gave her the first ranking position and Pearce the second. Ekaterina Korobeynikova of Russia finished a close 3rd with 1386 points and Kailey Johnston (USA) finished 4th with 1377 points. Pearce, Skarvan and Johnston's team score of 4,151 points obliterated the old Team FITA World Record of 4,002 points. The Russian team was ranked 2nd with a score of 4,051 points and Mexico was in the 3rd ranking position with a score of 4,026 points.
In the Women's Compound Junior Division, Kendal Nicely shot well and finished the FITA round in 1st place with 1,385 points. The 2006 Cadet bronze medalist, Lucy O'Sullivan (GBR), emerged 2nd with 1,372 points, just one point ahead of Samantha Pruitte (USA). The USA led the team ranking with 4,070 points, twenty points ahead of Italy, which was closely followed by Russia, Germany, and Canada. Men's Junior Compound archer, Adam Gallant (USA), finished in 5th with a score of 1358, Adam Wruck came in 15th with 1,346 and Ben Cleland finished in the 31st position with a 1,329. When those scores were combined, the Compound Junior Men's Team finished in the 4th ranking position with a combined score of 4,033.
Korea dominated the Cadet Recurve Division. The top three FITA finishes in the Men's Cadet Recurve division went to Korea. Kim Joo Wan shot an impressive 1,377 points and set a new world record. Kim Hyun placed second with 1,357 and Shin Jae Hun took third place position with a 1,347. In the team competition, Korea broke the World Record with 4,081 points; India was 2nd with 2,949 and Italy 3rd with 3,908. Americans Josh Smith, Matthew Zumbo and Ben Roop finished in 28th scoring 1,282, 69th scoring 1,218 and 81st scoring 1,176 points respectively. Their combined score of 3,676 points was not enough to advance them into the team event where the top 16 teams would square off in the elimination matches on Friday. The Korean Cadet Recurve Women proved that women are equal when Lim Su Ji finished 1st with 1,377 points and set a new world record as well. Oh Da Mee (KOR) reached 2nd place with 1,369 and Chen Yeqiun of China finished 3rd with 1360 points. Americans Miranda Leek, Tabitha Kovac and Emily Blake completed the FITA in 20th with 1,288 points, 61st with a 1,172 and 65th with 1,132 points respectively. Their combined score of 3,592 secured their 15th position in the team event.
The Italian men had a strong showing in the FITA round when Massimiliano Mandia and Luca Melotto finished 1st with 1,327 points and 2nd with 1,314 points. Mick De Bakker (NED) took the 3rd position with a 1,312. Americans Don Anthony finished in 27th with a score of 1,259, Tyler Schardt finished in 44th scoring 1,240, and Glen Thomas ended the round in 48th with a score of 1,238 points. In the Junior Recurve Women's Division, Russian Inna Stepanova cinched 1st place with a 1,334, Siyi Lu of China held strong for 2nd with a 1,313 and Nina Mylchenko of the Ukraine placed 3rd with 1,311 points. American Anna Harrington finished 22nd with a 1,260, Heather Koehl ranked 47th with 1,227 and Jessica Gibbs ended the day in 60th with a 1,157. Both USA Junior Recurve teams finished in 13th and would progress to the team elimination rounds.
With the conclusion of the FITA round, archers were seeded according to ranked positions into the head to head elimination rounds which were shot Thursday and Friday. During these Olympic Rounds, the archers shot 12 arrows. The archer with the higher score moves on to the next match and the other archer is eliminated. There were some exciting matches and some upsets as well. Friday would end with the semifinals and only four archers in each division would be moving on to the medal matches, which were to be held on Sunday. At the end of the semifinals, both Kendal Nicely and Samantha Pruitte of the USA were shooting for the gold medal in the Women's Compound Junior Division, Kailey Johnston (Compound Cadet) was shooting against Ekaterina Korobeynikova of Russia for the gold. Although not in the final's Tristan Skaravan set a new World Record of 118 in an earlier match. The Men's Compound Cadet Joey Hunt III would be shooting against Di Benedetto of Italy for the gold medal.
The team matches were shot on Friday afternoon from which four teams would advance to the finals, which would be shot on Saturday. The USA compound teams dominated the competition as all four teams advanced to compete in the gold medal matches on Saturday. Connor Kelly, Levi Cyr and Joey Hunt III of the Compound Cadet Men's Team, broke the world record for the 24-arrow match with 233 points and shot the same score in the semi-finals match to progress to the gold medal match against Mexico. The Compound Cadet Women's team: Paige Pearce, Tristan Skarvan and Kailey Johnston, had a bye in their first match and beat India 225-216 in the semifinals and secured their spot in the gold medal match against the Russian Federation. The Junior Compound Men's team, Adam Wruck, Adam Gallant and Ben Cleland, had a very tight match against Mexico in the quarter-finals. Both teams tied at 227 points and in the three-arrow shoot-off, the Americans eeked a victory with a 228-227 win. They went on to beat the Australians 229-227 and secured their spot in the gold medal match against the Russian Federation. The Compound Junior Women's team, Samantha Pruitte, Kendal Nicely and Seneca Francis, easily won their matches against Turkey 225-205 and their Canadian neighbors 222-216 and competed for the gold medal on Saturday. Ranked 15th, The Women's Cadet Recurve team, Miranda Leek, Emily Blake and Tabitha Kovac, shot against Ukraine, the 2nd ranked team, in the 1/8 elimination and lost their match 202-212. The 4th ranked team from India beat the 13th ranked USA Junior Women's Recurve team: Heather Koehl, Anna Harrington and Jessica Gibbs, in the 1/8 elimination round 215-185. A huge upset in the Junior Men's Recurve team eliminations when the 13th ranked USA team, Tyler Schardt, Anthony Don and Glen Thomas, beat the 4th ranked Netherlands team 213- 209 in the 1/8 elimination match. The USA faced the 5th ranked Australian team in the quarter-finals and lost the match by one point with a 209-210 finish.
The team finals were held on Saturday. The field was lined with flags from every participating country, television crews were on the field, and the stands were filled with rooting fans. The excitement was mounting as the medal matches began. The chants "USA!" and "Rossia!" came roaring from the stands. The Cadet Compound Women's team, Paige Pearce, Tristan Skarvan, and Kailey Johnston started very strongly with a perfect 30 and took the lead 57-54 in the first end. They had the same lead 114-111 after 12 arrows, but then increased it throughout the entire match, winning the gold 227-220. Australia upset India 220-210 and won the bronze medal. The USA Men's Cadet Compound Team, Connor Kelly, Levi Cyr and Joey Hunt III, put the pressure on Mexico with a 59-55 lead in the first end. Mexico could never catch up and the Americans tied their world record (again) with a 233-225 and clinched the gold! Great Britain and Canada went head to head in the bronze medal match and Great Britain came out on top with a 226-221 win. In the Junior Men's Compound Division, USA team Adam Wruck, Adam Gallant and Ben Cleland was tied with team Russia in the first end 55-55. The Russians took the lead in the second end 107-104 and the Americans could not come back. Russia won the gold 219-211 and the USA ended with the silver. Australia dominated Italy in the bronze medal match and won 225-219. The most exciting match came from the Women's Junior Compound team: Kendal Nicely, Seneca Francis and Samantha Pruitte. The USA fell behind the Russian team 56-55 in the first end, but the were not discouraged. The USA took the lead 111-110, 167-166 and 195-193. However, Russia did not give up and finished with a 10-10-10 to reach 223 points. It all came down to the last arrow. Kendal Nicely had to shoot a 10 to win. Everyone held their breath as Kendal pounded a 10! The USA team won the gold 224-223! Canada won the bronze with a 221-218 victory over Italy.
In the Women's Cadet Recurve Division, team Korea won the gold, Germany took the silver and Chinese Taipei won the bronze. The results in the Men's Cadet Recurve Division differed very little with Korea taking the gold, Germany the Silver, and Chinese Taipei the bronze. The Women's Junior Recurve Division ended with China winning the gold, India the silver and Poland beating out Denmark for the bronze. The Australian Men's Junior Recurve team clinched the gold against Ukraine and Italy took the bronze over Germany.
The individual finals were held on Sunday, October 12th. The stands were filled with fans yelling for their favorites. The Cadet Medal matches were first. In the individual finals matches, archers shoot 4 ends of 3 arrows. They have 30 seconds to shoot each arrow with alternate shooting. In the Compound Cadet Women's Division, Kailey Johnston (USA) had a strong start with a 10-10-9 while Ekaterina Korobeynikova could only manage a 9-8-9. Johston ended up winning the gold medal match 114-111. Joey Hunt III had an impressive gold medal finish with a score of 117-110 against Di Benedetto of Italy. In the Compound Junior Women's Division, Kendal Nicely and teammate Samantha Pruitte went head to head for the gold medal. Both girls shot well in the windy conditions, but in the end, Nicely won the gold 113-108.
The best junior archers in the world came together to compete in the Junior World Championships held in Antalya, Turkey. The country of Turkey was beautiful, hospitable, and the tournament was very well organized. The United States walked away with three new World Records and 8 medals (6 gold and 2 silver) giving them the #1 ranked position overall! The Russian Federation was ranked second with 6 medals (2 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze) and Korea was ranked 3rd with 5 medals (3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze). Even though the focus was on the competition, this tournament was much more than that. This group of kids has been given the opportunity to see the world. A few walked away with medals, but more importantly, all archers walked away with an experience of a lifetime and some great new friends from home and all over the world!