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July 14, 2023

World record mark from archery newcomer at the JOAD Target Nationals

DES MOINES, Iowa – Six months after taking up archery and Francesca Benavidez has set a new U18 and U21 world record in the barebow women division, shattering the previous best during day two of the 2023 USA Archery JOAD Target Nationals.

Benavidez is no stranger to sporting success. In February, she won the 200m freestyle at the state high school swimming championships in New Mexico. She struck gold twice in March over 1000 and 1650m at the New Mexico Swimming Short Course State Championships.

And yet she has taken to archery like a duck to water.

Competing in the U18 category, her score of 1210/1440 (pending verification) over two 50m rounds beat the previous best of 1187, which was set last September by Maggie Brensinger at the GHA Double Fall FITA event in Orwigsburg, PA.

There was also a new national record set in the U18 fixed pins men as Adam Curran posted 1317. The previous high was 1275. In fact, the top three in that category all beat the old record, as Joshua Watson shot 1303 and Eric Hughes 1276.

Friday brought the conclusion of the double 72 arrow round on another warm day in Des Moines where conditions proved challenging, especially in the afternoon session as the wind whipped across the James W. Cownie Soccer Park and rain threatened.

The double 72 arrow round competition was spread across two days, with USA archers being named national champions. Attention next switches to the elimination competition on Saturday.

In all, more than 850 archers – a record for the JOAD Target Nationals – have been competing in 32 different divisions, across U13, U15, U18 and U21, covering barebow, compound, fixed pins and recurve.

Among those winning national championship titles on Friday were Dewey Hathaway and Sydney Sullenberger, who are continuing the glittering form shown in Ireland last week which saw them crowned world champions at the World Archery Youth Championships in Limerick.

Isaac Sullivan shot a 1409 in the U21 compound men for victory. Landon Richardson appears to have built some momentum following his trip to Ireland with Team USA, as he took the title in the U21 recurve men.

Samantha Ensign edged Abigail Kippes in a tightly-contested U21 recurve women, with only four points separating the pair. John Sarazin shot a personal best as he became a national champion in the U21 barebow men.

Kaylee Gurney of Utah qualified first in the U18 compound women, ahead of Olivia Dean and Savannah O’Donohue. She was quite rightly proud of her performance, saying, “This is my first national championships but it feels really good.”

Latest scores and results can be found on the BetweenEnds website, while the USA Archery SmugMug account has images from each day in Des Moines.

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