First-time Finalist Alex WIFLER Shocks Levi MORGAN to Vegas Champion Title
At previous Vegas Shoot events, the first two ends of the compound shoot-offs would be scored on the big 10, as with the rest of the competition.
This year, the sudden-death phase went straight to the smaller ring – which is used to score compound 10s at World Archery events. The rules were the same: only the top scoring athletes each three-arrow end remained in the competition.
Before the headline, 17-archer compound men’s championship shoot-off, the women’s event, men’s senior and youth divisions had ties to resolve in the main arena.
Sara PRIEELS (BEL) and Sara LOPEZ (COL) finished first and second in the compound women’s championship division. Erika JONES, Kailey JOHNSTON, Christie COLIN and Sarah LANCE – all USA archers – competed for third place.
Last year’s Champion, Sarah LANCE, won that contest.
The 16 men who shot clean 900 scores over the three days, plus the lucky dog qualifier – the winner of a previous shoot-off featuring all the archers that finished on 899 – took to the arena soon after.
The line-up included: reigning and previous world champions and indoor world record holders Mike “The Flying Dutchman” SCHLOESSER (NED) and Christopher PERKINS (CAN), former Vegas winners Chance BEAUBOUEF (USA), Jesse BROADWATER (USA) and Michael ANDERSON (USA) – and lucky dog Josh SCHAFF (USA).
Ten archers went out in the first pass.
Three-time Vegas winner Chance shot 29, as did Logan WILDE, Dan MCCARTHY, Nshan THOMPSON, Johnathan SCOTT, Kevin TATARYN and Michael ANDERSON. Lewis HOLMES III and Dane Patrick LAURSEN scored 28 – and lucky dog SCHAFF had 27.
Seven archers shot a perfect 30 – and continued in the competition.
Reigning Vegas Champion Mike SCHLOESSER shot a big nine in the second end, finishing with 28, along with Scott STARNES. Canada’s PERKINS leaked one out off the 10-ring – as did BROADWATER and Henry BASS.
(The 29-pointers continued to for third place, which Jesse BROADWATER collected three ends later.)
Two remained: Levi MORGAN and Alex WIFLER.
Levi put all three arrows out of the middle the next end, Alex one of his first two. Left alone on the line, the current junior outdoor 15-arrow elimination match world record holder had a chance to win it – and he only needed an eight.
WIFLER shot nine – and in one of the quickest Vegas Shoot finals in recent memory became 2015 Vegas Champion.
The 20-year-old was top qualifier at the last World Archery Youth Championships in China and only switched to compound there because an injury left him unable to shoot his recurve.
He’s been switching back and forth – but that’s about to change.
“I’m definitely sticking with compound from here on out,” he said after the win was announced.
Read more about Las Vegas 2015.