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DARRINGTON, Washington - The 2017 U.S. National Field Championships began today with competition at 24 targets of unmarked distances. Archers traversed crazy inclines in the beautiful wooded course at Darrington Archers. Unmarked means that in addition to judging the target face's size and angle of shooting, archers also must judge the distance they are shooting at for a truly great challenge.
Dave Cousins (Standish, Maine) has won this event almost every year since he began competing at Field Nationals in 1998. "That was my first experience with World Archery Field, and I went to the World Championships that year and have shot a bunch since," shared Cousins, who has a two-point lead on the compound men's field after the first day of scoring. "This is my favorite kind of archery, it's my favorite game that we play, both marked and unmarked."
"The competition that I gave myself today was more than enough," added Cousins. "I struggled a little bit with shot execution, but all my field tech was really good. One thing that really impresses me with the course is, I know what goes into putting a course like this together - for them to go and remove all the ground pegs and do all the work takes to set this up for a World Archery Field event. I know it always boils down to just a handful of people doing the work, but they roll their sleeves up and work all summer to do all this and that's a big undertaking, so Darrington is really committed to hosting a good event. When it comes to World Archery Field venues, it's pretty scarce to find that, so we all appreciate that. It was the high point of the day for me to recognize all that they did to put this together."
Shawnn Vincent (Laconner, Washington) used to be the president of the club here in Darrington and he finished 4th for the compound men after day one. "I grew up, born and raised here and have been sledding on the hill here for years. They do great work here and it's great to see it still running, and for them to hold a national tournament here, with more to come hopefully, it's really great," he commented. Vincent, who shot in the same group with Cousins enjoyed the day of competition: "It was a great group, Dave screamed like a little girl when a bug went down his shirt, so it was a fun day. This is my first ever World Archery Field event, and this was a fun learning experience and I didn't shoot half bad for my first day."
Rebecca Nelson-Harris (Auburn, California) is sitting in the top three for the barebow women and commented: "It was a great day, the course is a very good course, a little bit challenging but not too much at all. We had a good group." On shooting the unmarked course today, she added: "I think I did a good job today, there were one or two targets I might have been a little bit off on, so I think I did that well and I executed my shot most of the time well, there were a few that dropped down, but looking forward to tomorrow."
The barebow senior men have the largest competition bracket on the field and after the first day, John Demmer III (Kingsley, Pennsylvania) leads with a 27-point margin.
Competition resumes tomorrow with scoring at 24 targets of marked distances. Results from the competition can be found here. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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