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August 13, 2020

Archers Enjoy Fun in the Sun at USA Archery Outdoor Nationals

RICHMOND, Virginia – It was all smiles, all around to kick off scoring at the 136th USA Archery Target Nationals. Archers have embraced the changes to make this event safely possible and the changing weather challenges of the day, enjoying the incredible facility at Dorey Park and time competing together again with friends.

While we are halfway through scoring, scores were very tight across all the divisions as archers were newly motivated by the long break and the opportunity to compete. Today’s highlights included a personal best in the second half for Olympian Mackenzie Brown to take a strong lead for the recurve women: “I feel awesome, we had really great weather this morning, with cool clouds, but as it heated up it was a bit of a change. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with how I shot today. This is pretty much how I’ve been shooting in practice and I’m really glad I could come out with a good mindset and perform the way I wanted to perform. I’ve been working a lot on my mindset and I think getting out here and doing what I feel God made me to do is a great feeling.”

Brady and Toja Ellison both crushed the afternoon line, leading the recurve men and compound women’s competition and were disappointed to learn there were only going to be two medals available, not a third for Ellison Jr., who was on the line with mom-to-be, Toja, should they end up prevailing again tomorrow. ;)

Para archer Kevin Mather competed in both the compound open and recurve open men’s divisions: “Today was awesome, it definitely beat yesterday’s practice rounds where it was super hot and humid. It was a long day and a fun one. When I’ve been training at home, I’ve been getting a little complacent and bored, and since the para team is locked for the 2021 season, the biggest motivation has been self-fulfillment. To make it more fun I started toying around with the compound and it’s been mostly a learning experience. I’m just curious about archery in general so I figured it would be a fun experience.”

Whether archers had personal bests or felt the layoff, it was still a fun day. Tim Gillingham, who leads the compound master men, still had higher hopes for today: “That’s the drive, I had fun, but I struggled a little bit. I haven’t spent a lot of time shooting a 60 lb bow, so it was a bit of an adjustment. I started feeling pretty decent towards the end, but something like that, just barely missing, it drives you crazy. I’m going to make some adjustments tonight and hopefully come back and perform even better tomorrow.”

Competition continues tomorrow with another 72 arrows of qualification. For the U.S. Open on Saturday, the senior gold medal matches will be live streamed by Competition Archery Media on CAM and USA Archery’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Check out our online photo gallery and join the conversation this week with #OutdoorNationals and follow live results at www.betweenends.com.

 

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