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WESTFIELD, Indiana - USA Archery is proud to award our National Champions in Grand Park today after 144 arrows of qualification at the 133rd U.S. National Target Championships. For the youth archers competing in the 2017 Junior Olympic Archery Development National Target Championships, qualification today will seed them for elimination matches tomorrow to determine national honors. The adult categories will continue with elimination matches in the U.S. Open event.
Leading to the loudest applause on the field, Armless Archer Matt Stutzman (Stockport, Iowa) won the compound men's national title. Competing in the able bodied division all year, Matt has had several top 5 finishes, but this marked his first podium spot. Despite wind gusts over 30 mph, Matt had only two arrows outside of the gold in the 8-ring. "I'm still trying to do the pinch-me moment," shared Stutzman. "I've been trying to do this all year and it's surreal. I know the conditions were really rough but I still felt like I shot really good in the conditions."
Also an incredible win today: recurve cub women's champion Brianna Laux (Lowell, Michigan) came back from a recent Traumatic Brain Injury to clinch the win in her division. She credited some of her success to her lucky turtle socks and added: "For the first time in a national tournament, I wasn't nervous going into it, and I know my forte is shooting in the wind. I'm really excited about the win, because of my injury it means even more to me to make it this far."
After taking some time to focus on other types of archery competitions, Paige Pearce Gore (Red Bluff, California) has returned to World Archery rules, making USA Archery's World Championship team this year and today, earned the senior compound women's National Champion title. On the wind, Paige commented: "There's a point when the wind picks up and you keep trying you feel determined, and then there's a point where you're starting to struggle, and then there's the point where it's so bad you can't do anything but laugh about it and that's where we were today."
"I took a break from target archery and it feels good to be back," added Paige. "This was always the one type of archery that I struggled with the most so it's awesome that in my comeback year, it's been so good to me. I worked through a lot of battles I used to have here and it's finally all coming together for me."
Larry Anderson (Bothell, Washington) who took the win today for the barebow masters 60+ men also shared his excitement: "It was fun because the people I was shooting with were fun. The wind kept shifting around in strength, you had to pick a spot and shoot strong shots. The national championship is important and I've been shooting in the senior division and just made the jump to masters and this is a huge honor."
Complete 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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