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WESTFIELD, Indiana - The U.S. Open and JOAD National Target Championships featured intense head to head matches today. The weather provided calmer conditions as sunny skies shined on a full field of more than a thousand archers.
After winning the National Target Championships yesterday, armless archer Matt Stutzman (Stockport, Iowa) went head to head with recent World Games medalist Kris Schaff (Billings, Montana) for the compound men's gold. Schaff scored an incredible 149 to take the win despite some nerves coming into the match. "I was a little bit nervous but I just let the dot float around and stayed strong on the backend," commented Schaff. On his recent successes and looking towards his upcoming first World Cup and the World Championships, he added: "I just keep practicing, I got my bow shooting now how I want it to, and I'm looking forward to shooting more tens."
Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona), who won his ninth national title yesterday out of the eleven years he has competed, took center stage with Olympic teammate Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Florida) for the recurve men's gold final. Clinching a solid 5-1 victory with only two arrows in the nine ring instead of the ten, Ellison commented: "It was a good weekend, my focus right now is just keep dialing in and getting into these finals matches leading up to the World Championships. We have the last World Cup coming up and I've already qualified for the Final but I'd like to get on the podium there again and maybe get back to first or second in the world."
Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas) and Cassidy Cox (Albuquerque, New Mexico) took the recurve and compound women's gold medals respectively. Brown, the reigning National Champion and 2016 Olympian shared: "I had really good practice on the practice field right before my match. I was shooting with Brady and we were both shooting a lot of tens and joking about who was closer to the center and it was really good to practice and get all the nerves out."
Brown has shared that in her continued efforts to be the best, she often tracks her scores against the men's field for an extra challenge. Her message to girls in sports is: "Never second guess yourself or think you can't do it. Always go for the win, shooting against guys or girls, try your hardest and go up there with confidence on each match."
Cox, who just turned 19 and in her breakout year in the senior division has earned spots on both the senior and youth world championships teams, shared Brown's takeaway: "I think that, when I started shooting senior, I would see all the scores and think that I couldn't do that; I was just going in to give it a try, but when I started competing with others at a higher level of shooting, I learned that I can shoot just as well so I would tell others to just push yourself because you never know what you can do until you try."
USA Archery also recognized the winners of this year's Easton and Shenk Awards. The Easton Award, named in honor of former FITA President James Easton, awards the top male and female compound senior archers who have the highest combined total score in the U.S. National Indoor, Field and Target Championships for that year. The Shenk Award, established in 1980 in honor of former NAA President Clayton Shenk, is presented to the senior male and female archer in the recurve division who meet the same criteria. The winners of this year's Easton Award are Steve Anderson and Jamie Van Natta, and Allison Eaton and Brady Ellison took top honors for the Shenk Award.
USA Archery congratulates all of our archers on a wonderful Outdoor Nationals and we are excited to continue with the JOAD team rounds tomorrow! Complete results from the event are available here. Join the conversation on social media with #OutdoorNationals and for more follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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