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October 02, 2023

Outdoor season finishing with a flourish as state champions are crowned

With September making way for October, it means we are another step closer to the end of the outdoor season, though not before this week’s USA Archery Collegiate 3D Nationals in Foley, Ala.

There were a whole host of outdoor state championship events throughout last month, including in Oklahoma, where archers aged eight to 75 battled heat and unpredictable winds at Trosper Archery Park in Oklahoma City. 

For the first time, an elimination round was held in conjunction with the Outdoor State Championships. Competition was fierce, with two matches being determined by a shoot-off.

The barebow 50+ men’s gold medal match was decided by one quarter of an inch, with the honors going to Craig Peden in his first tournament. 

The 72 arrow qualifying round was followed by an optional just for fun “Top Banana” elimination round. Combined classes meant that younger archers had the opportunity to shoot against older opponents. Santiago Perez, who had set a new state record as a U10 (Yeoman) went on to take the JOAD barebow recurve top prize.

Trosper Archery Park welcomed a number of Para athletes this year, including Trevor Coburn, who said, “I loved the event so much. It was run very well, and the officials were incredibly helpful, kind and supportive.”

Coburn was introduced to archery in 2017 at the UCO Endeavor Games in OKC and feels he has found his sporting home.

“I started shooting with a genesis bow with no scope, peep or release,” he added. “After the first end, I was hooked. For the last six years, I’ve been competing and learning as much as I possibly can about Para archery. I’m going to be competing in USA archery tournaments for the rest of my life.”

International Para archer Candice Caesar added, “The Oklahoma State and JOAD Championships was a huge success and well attended. It was located in a great place to maximize wind training. Para archers in search of a tournament that is ADA accessible, look no further.

“There were also eliminations following qualification rounds to test our skills. I traveled from Texas to share the field with some outstanding archers. I felt at home with Trosper Archery Club and plan to attend this event annually.”

Santiago and Isaac Perez have been shooting with Trosper JOAD Club for about seven months. The whole family has taken up the sport, with parents Juan and Paola set to compete in the upcoming indoor season.

“I felt great. I felt that I could get a lot of points,” said Santiago. “I enjoyed the elimination the most.”

Isaac added, “I think I did very well for my first tournament.” 

Five existing state records were beaten, while 10 new class/division records were set despite the tricky conditions.

Oklahoma Storm JOAD team member Dylan Hurt added 12 points to the existing record and secured first place in the recurve U18.

“The tournament was really fun,” said Hurt. “I had a great time. My outdoor season was learning about confidence, improving strength and the mental game. When I found out that I had set a new record, it proved that hard work does pay off.”

Perfect conditions greeted archers at the Outdoor Florida State Championships, held at the Easton Newberry Archery Center, home to the Gator Cup, one of four events in the USAT Qualifier Series.

There were a number of big scores, notably from Frank Ogden in the compound 60+ men (1329), Diane Watson in the compound 50+ women (1347), Joe Loureiro in the compound 50+ men (1380) and Nolen Baker in the compound U13 men (1403).

Among the many highlights at the 2023 Utah, Idaho and Wyoming State and JOAD Championships was a score of 717 for Christopher Fong in the Idaho Compound U15 Men. His 72 arrows included 69 10s.

Blair Smith was a convincing winner of the Recurve U13 Women at the 2023 USA Archery South Carolina State Outdoor Championship in Greer. She won with a score of 683, which was 138 ahead of her closest challenger. Annie Crain was equally dominant in the Compound U13 Women, shooting 686 to comfortably claim the gold.

The 2023 NJ State Outdoor Championship was well attended and closely contested. Among the winners were the in-form Akshara Vijay in the Recurve Senior Women. The 15-year-old defeated top seed and hometown favorite Casey Kaufhold last month to win the U.S. Open. Elsewhere, David Shlivko shot 714 with his 72 arrows to win the Compound Adult Novice Men.

Francesca Benavidez – who stormed onto the barebow scene this year with U18 and U21 world records set at JOAD Target Nationals in July, and claimed the U.S. Open title in Malvern, Pa. last month – took top honors at the 2023 USA Archery Colorado Outdoor State Championship in Littleton, labeled by organizers as "one of the best tournaments we have hosted."

And while the big scores were impressive, so too were the success stories enjoyed by all those competing, especially those relatively new to the sport, such as Harry O’Brien in Colorado. He walked away with a medal from the Fixed Pins U13 Men, having only taken up archery earlier this year.

Scores and results from all the state outdoor championship events can be found on Between Ends.

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