CARLETON, New Brunswick – In inconsistent and difficult weather, the top junior archers in the US competed at Canadian Outdoor Nationals. The qualification round included a 720 round and a full FITA followed by head to head eliminations at the 2013 Canadian Open. The Jr. USAT archers shot impressively, and with a new world record for Alex Wifler (Crete, Il.) as of press time, the strong, young team topped the podium repeatedly.
The junior and senior archers were combined for eliminations and recurve women, Lanola Pritchard (Chula Vista, Calif.) and Ariel Gibilaro (Chula Vista, Calif.) had standout performances. Pritchard, seeded 16th, upset the highest ranked archer, Anne Kwok (Ont.) 6-0, in the 1/8th round, Vanessa Lee (Ont.) in the semifinals, and teammate Gibilaro in the final match for gold, giving the US two medals.
Shannon Ostling (Snohomish, Wa.) and Lauren Clamon (Chula Vista, Calif.), seeded 10th and 7th respectively tied 5-5 in the 1/8th. Clamon took the shoot-off before bowing out to Gibilaro in the quarterfinals.
There was also tough competition between US archers in the men’s compound division. Wifler, seeded 3rd, breezed into the semifinals until he defeated Andrew Fagan (Ont.) by only a point to face teammate, Bridger Deaton (Pella, Iowa). Deaton, seeded 5th also shot well before falling to Wifler by two points for the gold, raising the US medal count by another two.
Evan Zak (Lancaster, Pa.) and Torrey Bonham (Onsted, Mich.), seeded 13th and 15th were both eliminated in the 1/8th round.
No. 2 seed, Lexi Keller (Omro, Wisc.) defeated teammate Allison Williams (Victoria, Tex.) in the 1/8th round before falling to another Team USA standout, KayLeigh Rogers (Magnolia, Tex.) in the quarterfinals. The No. 7 seed, Rogers continued to climb the bracket, taking a one-arrow shoot off against Camille Bouffard-Demers (Qué.) with a perfect 10 and defeated Tricia Morris (Alta.) for the gold. Gabrielle Cyr (Falmouth, Maine) was upset early in the 1/8th round.
Sean McLaughlin (Chula Vista, Calif.), seeded 10th for recurve men defeated Brendan Sheridan (Alta.) 6-0 in the 1/8th before falling to eventual gold medal winner Jay Lyon (Man.) in the quarterfinals. Nathan Yamaguchi (Chula Vista, Calif.) seeded 12th fell to Hamilton Nguyen (Ont.) in the 1/8th and Christopher Luman (Alpharetta, Ga.), who was seeded 10th for juniors, did not make the top 16 cut when combined with seniors for eliminations.
The youth archers that represented the US in Canada faced tough competition in the international archery world and garnered valuable experience going forward as the promising future of this sport for Team USA.