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DECATUR, Alabama - Over 650 youth archers shot their first arrows at the 2015 Easton JOAD Nationals today, while nearly 275 adult archers are competing in the 131st U.S. National Target Championships. Together, the events are known as "Outdoor Nationals," and are boasting an event record 923 archers this year.
"My favorite thing about being at nationals is seeing my friends. Shooting is always fun, but shooting with my friends from across the country who I haven't seen in a while, that's the best," shared Tyler King, a top recurve bowmen men qualifier, after scoring his first 72 arrows this morning. Archers will score an additional 72 arrows tomorrow to complete the 144-arrow qualification round before proceeding to team and elimination events.
For archers participating in the U.S. National Target Championships, the end of shooting tomorrow determines national champion titles. For shooters of the Easton JOAD Nationals, who lit up the field today in the first half of qualification, today's scores will weigh into Grand National Champion titles along with team round participation and placement in the elimination matches.
The variable wind posed a challenge for many archers on the field today. Lancaster Archery Academy coach, Heather Pfeil shared: "Probably the hardest part is not to fall into a mind game. I keep telling the archers to forward think. Never look back. I tell them don't worry about the schedule or the weather. Just make every arrow count."
Athena Caiopoulos, a member of the 2015 Compound Junior Dream Team and Cadet USAT agreed: "I want to focus on my form, on my mental process, rather than trying to make [each shot] a ten, that was what I was thinking."
Following qualifications, the previously postponed clout round was held successfully this evening. Excited participants were still eager to be a part of this annual favorite tradition.
The USA Archery Board of Directors hosted the annual meeting, which emphasized the strong growth we have seen in membership and participation in USA Archery since 2009. This meeting serves as a chance for members to voice their thoughts, provide feedback to the Board and staff. Approximately 40 members were in attendance, which was held at the Turner Surles Community Resource Center in Decatur.
Be sure to check out tomorrow's coverage of the US National Target Championships bring that competition to a close prior to Saturday's US Open.
Complete results from today, as well as continued live scores throughout the weekend are available here. On Saturday there will be a live stream of the US Open Finals at the same link. For more updates from the field, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and NEW-Snapchat @usaarchery.
Photo credit: Lori Marshall
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