Say “Vegas” around archers and their minds immediately fill with images of buzzing casinos, sleepless nights of practice, and thousands of archers stepping up to the line. They pour their hearts and souls into the event, just for a chance to become the Vegas Indoor Champion.
This year, 2016, marked the 50th anniversary of the Vegas shoot and with a record breaking 3000+ competitors fighting for a $50,000 check, the stakes were at an all time high. If that didn’t create enough excitement, the final stage of the indoor cup was also being held. Every archer walked into town determined to give their best.
We’ll start with a recap of the World Indoor Cup finals:
After some close elimination matches to start off the World Indoor Cup finals, Mackenzie Brown (USA) started things off hot for the Team and brought home the silver medal. Following Brown’s excellent showing, Brady Ellison (USA), Alexander Kozhin (RUS) and GYE Dong Hyun (KOR) made quick work of their competitors and swept the podium for a Gold, Silver and Bronze medal finish!
Hoyt’s Mackenzie Brown during the World Cup Finals
GYE Dong Hyun following through on a well executed shot
Brady Ellison taking aim to close the door on his competitor
Sandrine Vandionant (FRA) and CHAE Won So (KOR) followed their Team Hoyt comrade’s examples and brought home 2 more medals; a Silver for Vandionant and a Bronze for CHAE.
Sandrine Vandionant coming to full draw
To put the icing on the cake, Jesse “The Freakshow” Broadwater layed down the hammer to quickly put his opponent away in the Gold Medal match and add yet another Gold Medal to his long list of career accomplishments! Way to go, Jesse!
Jesse Broadwater putting the nail in the coffin to finish the Gold Medal match
Following the World Cup Finals, the Vegas tournament resumed. As the tournament progressed, the number of automatic qualifiers, those who hadn't missed the 10 ring throughout the tournament, slowly decreased.
When the dust settled, Hoyt’s George Ryals (USA) and Reza Zamaninejad (USA) had both shot clean 900’s, moving on as two of the five perfect scores to enter the finals.
The potential to add a third teammate to the finals, and make up half of the field, all came down to the results of the Lucky Dog shoot down.
Sergio Pagni (ITA), was one of 31 archers to only miss only one 10 ring the entire tournament, shooting a score of 899. Each of them lined up for the shoot down to determine the "Lucky Dog" winner and earn the chance to compete in the finals.
32 shooters quickly dropped to 8 and then 3 and then 2: Sergio Pagni and his opponent. After multiple ends of arrows, Sergio shot a perfect inside-out and became the “Lucky Dog” to enter the finals with an imperfect score.
The 5 automatic qualifiers and Sergio Pagni took their place in the championship shoot down. Each archer was required to shoot 3 arrows, the highest score would win. The stadium grew silent.
Hoyt archers Sergio Pagni, George Ryals and Reza Zamaninejad during the final arrows of the tournament
After each archer shot their 3 arrows, they walked in silence, following the judges to the targets. After a short moment of judging each archer’s arrows, Hoyt’s Sergio Pagni, the Lucky Dog of 2016, was crowned the Vegas Champion!
Accompanying Sergio on the Podium for her first Vegas Women’s Compound Championship of her career was Inge Van Caspel (NLD), along with another Men’s Recurve Podium Sweep by Brady Ellison (USA), Sean McLaughlin (USA) and GYE Dong Hyun (KOR). Not to be left out of the fun, Mackenzie Brown joined her teammates on the stand with an honorable 2nd place finish in the Women’s Recurve division. It goes without saying: Team Hoyt absolutely dominated Vegas 2016.
Inge Van Caspel takes a few deep breaths before sending the winning arrow home
Brady waves to his fans as Team Hoyt sweeps the Men’s Recurve podium
Hoyt congratulates all archers who competed. Thanks to all those who support this wonderful event.
Until next time.. always remember.. Get Serious. Get Hoyt.