Team USA Sends Strong Message With Six World Cup Medal Wins
MEDELLIN - The world may be improving in compound and recurve shooting, but that didn't stop American compound and recurve teams from winning six World Cup medals this weekend.
The compound women's team of World No. 1 Erika Jones (Grand Island, Nebraska), Jamie Van Natta (Toledo, Ohio) and Paige Pearce (Red Bluff, California) delivered the first gold medal win of the finals, stopping Colombia on their home turf.
"We wanted to give them a run for their money on home soil," Van Natta explained to World Archery. "They had much more pressure to perform."
Not to be outdone, the U.S. men's compound team delivered a gold medal win of their own, over a strong squad from the Netherlands.
"We've got a good team," Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho) told World Archery about the gold medal winning compound men's team. "We qualified two, three and four, that's a solid team to have."
Bridger Deaton (Pella, Iowa) agreed: "They had a couple of bad arrows and we had a couple of good arrows."
Team USA's Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Massachusetts), who has helped to mentor rookie Deaton, highlighted the Americans' consistency: "We're two for two so far. And if you look at the scores, Bridger's been the most solid of us."
In the mixed team and individual finals, Jones went on two score two more medals, bringing her haul to three for the weekend: she delivered an individual gold medal win over Slovenia's Toja Cerne, and then clinched the mixed team bronze with Wilde.
Bonus for Jones: she also earned the Longines Prize for Precision, hitting the most 10s throughout this World Cup stage.
"Today was one of those days that makes all the hard work and sacrifices worth it," she posted to fans. "Thank you to my teammates for being fantastic and to all of my sponsors for their unwavering support!"
Wilde also earned one more medal of his own, a bronze for his win versus Mexico's Gerardo Alvarado - with Wilde shooting just two points off perfect to earn the hardware.
The final win of the weekend for Team USA was also one of the most interesting: the men's recurve team knocked off third seed China in a 6-0 shutout victory for the bronze medal.
Why it matters: the team of Olympic medalists Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Florida) and Brady Ellison (Payson, Arizona) - and newcomer Jeremiah Cusick (Chula Vista, California) - together shot some of the highest scores the American recurve men have hit since prior to London 2012.
Showing incredible synergy as a team, the trio closed out the match with three perfect 10s - and appeared to be having fun the entire time.
"We shot consistently the best Team USA has shot that I can remember," Kaminski commented to fans on social media. "Happy to have shot with my teammates. Thanks to my sponsors. I wouldn't be able to do it without them!"
Check out World Archery's website for complete results, photos and video of the event.