17. Aggie On a Mission: Tristan Skarvan
Archery fans might recognize this compound shooter by her aggressive-yet-graceful shooting style at tournaments nationwide. Thanks to Tristan Skarvan’s hard work despite rigorous academic demands, this Texas A&M student qualified for this year’s World Cup team. Along with Lance and Gauvin, Skarvan could shake up the women’s compound rankings.
18. Archery Skills + Yardage Judging = 3D Champion: Cara Fernandez
Cara Fernandez has traversed the country since age 10, and has racked up many compound 3D titles, including Shooter of the Year, World Champion, Triple Crown Winner and more than 15 national titles. Fernandez recently told Hoyt that her passion for archery and desire to achieve her personal best drive her to excellence.
19. From 50th to 1st: Ariel Gibilaro
Ariel Gibilaro was 16 and ranked No. 4 in the country when she told her coach she wanted to change her recurve technique so she could train at the Olympic Training Center. Without glancing back, Gibilaro overhauled her form while sacrificing top finishes in hopes of reaching that long-term goal. The gamble paid off. She’s at the Olympic Training Center and chasing her ticket to Rio 2016.
20. The Big Cat: Steve Anderson
We’re not really sure why he’s called the “Big Cat” or where Steve Anderson came from, but this Hoyt employee and men’s compound archer leapt onto the national scene like a leopard attacking a gazelle. And he hasn’t let up. He made the World Games team in compound archery in 2013, had strong finishes at several major events, and just might make 2014 the Year of the Cat.
21. Fierce but Fair Competitor: Martin Damsbo of Denmark
Martin Damsbo isn’t just one of the world’s best archers, he also embodies fair play. At 2013’s World Cup in Antalya, he was preparing for the bronze-medal match when opponent Braden Gellenthien suffered an equipment failure. Without hesitating, Damsbo loaned Gellenthien his backup bow and helped him get ready for the match. Regardless of Damsbo’s many podium finishes, he’ a clear winner in our book.
22. Boston Proud: Braden Gellenthien
You might recognize Braden Gellenthien as the archer with a fishhook attached to his Boston Red Sox cap. You might also recall seeing him on the World Cup podium. Gellenthien, one of the world’s best men’s compound archers, does a great job engaging fans on social media. For instance, he recently asked their help in choosing his bow for the Vegas Shoot. Look for Gellenthien to hit his target at the upcoming World Archery Indoor Championships.
23. Hunger Games Archery Coach: Khatuna Lorig
Khatuna Lorig is a five-time Olympian, mother to an Olympic hopeful, and Olympic medalist with an amazing story, having shot for three countries in her career. After a whirlwind couple of years in which she coached Jennifer Lawrence for her Katniss Everdeen role in “The Hunger Games,” Lorig hosted an Academy Awards pre-show and just missed an Olympic medal. She is is focused on returning to competition while also doing coaching workshops around the country.
24. Shooting for the Stars: Colombia’s Sara Lopez
Sara Lopez made a major splash on the international competition scene in 2013, racking up World Cup medals and world records, individually and with her team. Lopez, together with teammates Maja Marcen and Alejandra Usquiano, have helped Colombia to become a dominant force in women’s compound archery. We think Lopez has quite a future ahead of her: she’s just 18 years old, and showing world class potential already.
25. It Runs in the Family: Twins Daniel and Sean McLaughlin
If you see two tall guys in “USA” uniforms shooting recurves really well, it’s probably the McLaughlin twins, Sean and Daniel. These two young brothers have benefited from strong archery influences, including Olympic medalist Darrell Pace, coaches Jim and Liz Coombe, and coach Steven Cornell – all in their home state of Ohio. Aided by this archery pedigree, the brothers are now at the Olympic Training Center and shooting for Rio 2016.