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Yankton, South Dakota - Some of the greatest names in the sport of archery have assembled in Yankton, South Dakota this week for the World Outdoor Archery Festival, the first attempt by the National Field Archery Association and USA Archery to host their National Championship events together.
The event, which unofficially opened earlier this week with USA Archery's National Field Championships, progressed with the NFAA's Outdoor National Championships, and continues tomorrow with the USA Archery National Target Championships, followed by the Hoyt World Open. The Pan American Games Team Trials will conclude the week.
Archers were treated to sunny skies and slightly cooled temperatures today for official practice; teams from across the world, including Australia, Great Britain, Canada and Chinese Taipei, join the United States' top shooters to vie for their share of over $54000 in cash prizes, as well as the opportunity to shoot off for a new car.
Tonight, over 75 people attended the USA Archery annual meeting to discuss issues such as events, communication with board members, and tournament formats. USA Archery CEO Denise Parker gave a report on the status of the organization, and Bill Corbin, Chairman of the USA Archery Board of Directors, led the meeting, in which members were encouraged to participate in an open forum discussion.
It was also publicly announced that next year's National Target Championships will be held in Hamilton, Ohio, and will be a combined event for the JOAD National Championships and National Target Championships. Parker additionally noted that she expects the full 2012 national event schedule to be publicly announced within the coming weeks, following confirmation of final details with event hosts.
An Archer's Appreciation Barbecue, open to all archers and guests, was hosted immediately afterward on the field. NFAA President Bruce Cull served as master of the event's Opening Ceremonies, which featured speeches from South Dakota Governor Dennis Dugard, Greg Easton, and Denise Parker. Highlights included the announcement of a $1.5 million dollar expansion of the NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Complex, which will allow archers to shoot 70 meters indoors.
Spectators were then treated to a true shoot-off: a contest between recurve and compound teams. 2008 Olympians Jennifer Nichols, Brady Ellison, Butch Johnson, and Vic Wunderle, along with 2011 World Championship Team member Miranda Leek, and Lori Cieslinski, faced off against the NFAA Pro team of Kevin Wilkey, Braden Gellenthien, Dave Cousins, Christie Colin, Alicia McHenry and Samantha Neal.
Shooting recurve barebows versus Genesis barebows, the archers shot at hard foam "clays," shot from a cannon without warning. After twelve ends for each team (one arrow per archer), it was the recurve team that won the contest, with Ellison scoring the single point.
Competition begins tomorrow at the 127th National Target Championships, with archers shooting the first half of their FITA round. USA Archery will be covering the event at this website, along with updates throughout via Twitter and Facebook. Live scoring for the adults, juniors and cadets can be viewed at http://www.ianseo.net/Details.php?toId=172. Complete results for all categories will be posted as they become available.
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