By Eric Blalock
Over Memorial Day weekend the Easton Newberry Archery Center hosted its largest tournament of the year, the 7th Annual Gator Cup. During the Gator Cup we saw 417 archers from all over the country, and some internationally, participate in USA Archery’s 3rd USAT event of the year. Immediately following the Gator Cup, our center was fortunate enough to host the third and final leg of the Olympic trials, where we saw Mackenzie Brown, Brady Ellison, Jake Kaminski and Zach Garrett punch their tickets to Rio.
Our program participants and members have shown plenty of resolve training through this Florida weather. Between the heat, humidity and thunderstorms they have found the time to put in the hours of training it takes to compete well on the national stage. During the 2016 Easton JOAD Nationals we saw seven of our program participants qualify in the top 10 of their divisions, and all together our program participants brought 11 medals home to Florida. Including three gold medals. We would like to congratulate Hazel (Rose) McCarty for receiving Grand Champion honors, as well as, Adam Heidt and Rebekah Lopez for receiving 2nd Grand Champions in their divisions.
We would like to wish the best of luck to Bethany Phillips as she travels to Iguazu, Argentina to compete in a world-ranking event. Bethany has been a coach for the Easton Newberry Archery Center programs for just over a year and half. She is currently on the Junior USAT team, and has worked extremely hard for her opportunities to compete on the world stage. We would also like to recognize two of our program participants, Hala Skelton and Thadrick Heaney, as they will be traveling to Canada to compete in the Canadian Target Championships as part of the Junior Dream Team. Last but not least, we want to wish luck to another program participant, Alex Gilliam, for qualifying in Yankton, South Dakota for the 2016 World Archery Field Championship in Dublin, Ireland. The championship is set to kick off on September 27th.