|(L-R) Brady Ellison, Collin Klimitchek and Zach Garrett pose with their silver medals after the men's archery team event at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games on July 17, 2015 in Toronto.|
TORONTO -- Despite rainy conditions, Team USA won the silver and bronze medal in men’s and women’s archery team competition, respectively, at the Pan American Games on Friday at Varsity Stadium in Toronto.
The men’s team of 2012 Olympic team silver medalist Brady Ellison, and rookies Zach Garrett and Collin Klimitchek fell to Mexico 6-2 in a back-and-forth final. The loss ended Team USA’s undefeated streak of gold medals at the Pan American Games since archery was added to the program in 1979.
“We shot good, we had tough conditions with it raining so hard and letting up – kind of messes with our equipment, sights and where it’s going to hit,” Ellison said. “Both teams shot really good; they just shot better.”
Ellison said the downpour before the gold-medal match had a significant effect on the bow’s string, but gave credit on the impressive shooting performance by Mexico, who shot three 10s in the final set. Garrett and Klimitchek, for whom Toronto marked their Pan American Games, relished in having an Olympian as their talisman moving forward to the world championships later this month, where Olympic quota spots are on the line.
“It’s really nice to have that leadership quality on the team,” Garrett said of Ellison. “I think he’s the rock for our team right now. Brady’s always been a fantastic shooter and he’s able to lead us and give us good direction at big events we don’t have experience at.”
The women’s team of five-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig, Ariel Gibilaro and LaNola Pritchard claimed the bronze medal with a 5-4 win over Venezuela that came down to a shootout. Going into the three-arrow shootout, Lorig was not fazed.
“We were just trying to stay with the shots, stay positive and go with the shot,” Lorig said. “(I felt confident) because I’ve done it many times, so I was just staying positive. Overall it’s a team and we did really well.”
Just like on the men’s side, Gibilaro and Pritchard are at their first Pan American Games have enjoyed the leadership of an experienced teammate in Lorig.
“Khatuna is very much the mother of the team it’s awesome,” Gibilaro said. “We know how to shoot good shots – that’s all we needed and that’s all we did. We got each other’s backs.”
Lorig, Ellison and Garrett will go for gold Saturday in the men’s and women’s individual competition. Ellison won the 2011 Pan Am competition.