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WESTFIELD, Indiana - The U.S. and JOAD National Target Championships began scoring today with the first of two rounds of qualification. For the U.S. National Target Championships, the qualification rounds determine National Championship Titles and for youth archers, final placement in the elimination matches will determine those honors.
Numbers: With over 1,100 archers on the field, this is by far, the largest Outdoor Nationals in all 133 years of the event's existence. That means that between today and tomorrow, well over 150,000 arrows will be shot for score. The huge field at Grand Park hosts an incredibly long line of over 200 targets.
Weather: The weather was absolutely perfect for shooting this morning - with warm and sunny skies, low wind and no rain. In the afternoon, a huge storm system entered the area but missed the field by several miles; wind picked up but no delays ensued. Olympian Jake Kaminski commented that one of the highlights of the day was the fact that no delays occurred.
Barebow and Masters: There are dozens of categories for archers to compete in this weekend, and with the addition of the Barebow and Masters United States Archery Teams last year, those categories have seen great continued growth and tight scores. Some of the cadet bowman archers scored as high or higher than the juniors and seniors and the masters divisions continue to see new faces and returning champions.
World Championships: As 2017 hosts several World Archery Championships for youth, seniors, Para, 3-D, and the World Games and World Cup circuit, the level of competition has been incredibly fierce in the U.S. Several archers competing for the first time on World teams are proving they belong on those teams taking top qualification slots in their divisions today.
Records: Pending verification, several new national records were set today including compound masters men and unofficially, the men's compound para team score could have been a new world record.
Teachable moments: For many archers and many more parents, this is a first major tournament experience. Eager to learn, USA Archery was happy to share information and to see the sport continue to grow and to educate others. Olympic Champion Daryl Pace was volunteering on the youth targets and helped new archers learn to score their arrows.
Archery is for everyone: With age categories from bowmen through masters, the age differences on the field span at least seven decades. There are also para and able bodied archers shooting side by side and archers from over half a dozen countries speaking countless languages.
Results from today's competition are available here. On Saturday evening, we will have a live stream of the U.S. Open Finals available at 7pm ET here. Join the conversation on social media with #OutdoorNationals and for more follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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