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Yankton, South Dakota - With weather conditions ranging from sunny to overcast, from showers to thunder, and from calm to a persistent, tricky wind, archers began their competition today at the 127th National Target Championships.
The tournament, part of the World Outdoor Archery Festival at the Easton Yankton Archery Complex, featured archers from across the globe, including teams from Australia, Chinese Taipei, Taiwan, Great Britain, Canada, Denmark and the United States.
The recurve men and compound women opened the day's competition, along with the bowman and cub competitors from both equipment styles. In the compound women's group, Jamie Van Natta (OH) led the pack at both 70 and 60 meters, shooting a 347 and 356 to lead at the end of 72 arrows with a 703. Erika Anschutz (TX), second at 70 meters and fifth at 60, shot a 342 and 347, respectively, to end the day in second with a 689. Just one point behind Anschutz was World Cup teammate Christie Colin (NY), fourth at 70 meters with a 334, but coming back strong in second at 60 meters with a 354, to hold third with 688.
Number one World Ranked Brady Ellison (AZ) began his day with strong top finishes at 90 and 70 meters, shooting 325 and 341 to end the day with a score of 666. Fellow Resident Athlete Jake Kaminski (NY), second at 90 meters with a 317, also held the second spot at 70 meters, shooting a 334 for a total of 651. Following in the third spot was Joe Fanchin (CA), with a score of 307 at 90 meters, and fourth at 70 meters with 330, for a 637 at the long distances.
Other notable finishes in the morning included Peter Kelchner (CA) leading the recurve junior men, followed by Daniel McLaughlin (OH) and Jeremiah Cusick (CA); for the compound junior women, it was the trio of Kailey Johnston (GA), Carlissa Cochran (PA) and Sarah Lance (MI) who took the top three positions. The recurve cadet men were led by Chris Luman (GA), Alex Wifler (IL) and Wei-Lun Wang (TPE), while Kannsas Michaels (PA), Hunter Jackson (MI) and Callie Gallant (ME) ended in the lead for the compound cadet women.
Gabriel Querol (IL), Paul Winterbower (MO) and Glenn Meyers (MI) are the top three recurve masters 50 plus men, while first three the masters 60 plus men are Thomas Booth (MI), Kirk Nicholson (OH) and Robert Perkins (PA). David Brandfass (FL) is the top finisher for the long distances in the recurve masters 70 plus category; he is joined in the top three by Steve Robinson (OH) and Jim Ploen (MN. The masters 50 plus compound women were led today by Becky Pearson (AZ), Lora Smith (MI) and Lynne Phelps (MI); the sole entrant in the masters 60 plus compound women was Mary Wenzel (VA) with a 589.
Also shooting today were bowman and cub archers, with Shu-Ting Liu (TPE) on top for the recurve bowmen women, Min-Jen Chen (TPE) leading the recurve bowman men, Yu-Chi Hung (TPE) in first for the recurve cub men, and Ya-Hsin Huang (TPE) ahead for the recurve cub women. The younger compound archers also shot this morning, with John Klus, Jr. (WI) leading the compound bowman men, Josh Pflasterer (NE) ahead for the compound cub men, and Lindsay Michel (PA) in front for the compound cub women.
In the afternoon, the recurve women took to the field, with Great Britain's Naomi Folkard taking a decisive lead with the first distance, shooting a 330 for 70 meters. Folkard fell back at 60 meters with a 333, but was able to finish with a 663 for the first spot. World Championship Team member Miranda Leek (IA) shot a 319 at 70 meters, but held second at 60 meters for a 335 and an overall score of 654. They were followed by four time Olympian Khatuna Lorig (CA), who shot a 316 at 70 meters, and a top score of 335 at 60 meters, to hold third with a 651.
For the compund men, Braden Gellenthien (VA) took the top spot, shooting a high score of 342 at 90 meters, combined with a 356 at 70 meters, for a leading score of 698. Jesse Broadwater (PA), shooting a 340 at 90 meters, and a 355 at 70 meters, ended his day in the number two spot; Canada's Dietmar Trillus took the third position with third place finishes at both 90 and 70 meters, shooting a 338 and 355 respectively for an overall 693.
The recurve junior women's group was led by teammates Ya-Ting Tan and Shih-Chia Lin, both from Chinese Taipei, whle the top American finisher was Shannon Ostling (WA). Chia-Hung Wu and Wen-Yi Yu (TPE) were the first two finishers for the recurve cadet women, while Ariel Gibilaro (CT) is the first U.S. archer, in third overall. The compound junior men are currently led by Garrett Abernathy (SC), Keenan Brown (CAN) and Bridger Deaton (IA), while Greg Fink (MI), Hunter Barthels (TX) and Michah Schmidt (OH) are ahead for the compound cadet men.
In the masters categories, Lynn Walter (CO), Kathleen Stevenson (OK) and Olga Usherenko (NJ) lead the recurve masters 50 plus women, while Joe Kapp (IN), Randall Wellings (MI) and Mark Miller (IL) are the top compound masters 50 plus men. The compound masters 60 plus men were led by Danny Whitehouse (VT), John Smith (MI) and John Grossl (WV), and Frank Pearson (AZ), Bill Hensley (IN) and Ed Marten (CO) were the top compound masters 70 plus men.
Also shooting today were para recurve women's archer Lee Ford (GA) with a 508; the para compound men's group was led by T.J. Pemberton (OK) and L.T. Arnold (WA), who shot 631 and 599 respectively. For the compound fingers masters 50+ men's group, Dave Hryn (NY), Paul Lewkowicz (MA) and Dale East (FL) were the top finishers, while Jerry Wenzel (VA) finished first for the compound fingers masters 70+ men's group with a 511.
The National Target Championships, shot this year as a single FITA round over two days, serves not only to select the country's National Target Champions, but also to rank archers for the first-ever Hoyt World Open, in which many archers will compete for a total of over $54,000 in cash prizes as well as potentially shoot off for a new car.
The event continues tomorrow with the short distances, followed by the USA Archery Banquet tomorrow evening, at which the National Champions will be crowned, the Easton and Shenk Awards will be presented, and, following longstanding tradition, the group is expected to be led in a rendition of "Auld Lang Syne." The Hoyt World Open will conclude the World Outdoor Archery Festival on Saturday.
Follow USA Archery on Twitter and Facebook for updates and photos throughout the event; live scoring can be followed by clicking here.
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