Extreme weather and record-breaking scores made things memorable Aug. 12-15 at the 136th USA Archery Target Nationals and U.S. Open in Richmond, Va.
Nearly 300 archers competed in the four-day event’s two tournaments. Each archer shot 144 arrows, which were evenly split over two days of competition featuring Olympic recurve, barebow, or compound equipment.
All compound archers shot 80-cm targets 50 meters away, while barebow archers shot at 122-cm targets 50 meters away. Olympic recurve archers under age 50 shot at 122-cm targets 70 meters away, while those 50 and older shot at 122-cm targets 60 meters away.
High heat and humidity drenched archers the first two days, with winds varying from light to gusty.
The two-day, 144-arrow scores determined the rankings for USA Archery’s Target National Championships. Winners in each division were crowned “national champions” for 2020.
The archers shot several possible world records, all of which are pending verification by USA Archery and World Archery.
Brady Ellison broke his Men’s Recurve double 72-arrow round record of 1,351 by shooting a 1,356. Jack Williams broke the Junior Men’s Recurve double-round record of 1,334 with a 1,337.
James Lutz shot a 1,422 double-round score in Men’s Compound, which beat the world record 1,419.
Barebow recurve archers topped three world records. Christina Lyons’ double score of 1,227 topped the record 1,080 in Barebow Women; Daniel Colloms’ double score of 1,166 topped the record 1,103 in Barebow Junior Men; and Maggie Bensinger’s single-day score of 537 topped the world record 533 in Barebow Junior Women.
For complete results of the national championships, visit www.betweenends.com.
The tournament’s U.S. Open competition followed the national championships, with the archers’ 144-arrow scores ranking them in each division. In an NCAA-basketball-style bracket, archers then faced off in head-to-head matches, starting with the highest-ranked archers shooting against the lowest ranked. The losers of each match were eliminated from the tournament.
Compound matches followed cumulative scoring, with each archer shooting five ends of three arrows each. The highest score advanced.
In the barebow and recurve matches, scoring followed Olympic set-system rules, with archers only awarded “set points.” Each archer shot three arrows per set, with the winner of each set earning two points and the loser zero. Each archer received one point for ties. The first archer to score six or more points won.
U.S. Open archers got soaked by heavy rain, which fell for hours. The range turned into a quagmire, but the archers kept shooting until determining the champions.
The gold-medal matches in men’s and women’s compound, barebow and recurve divisions all were held the evening of Aug. 15 on a special stadium field.
In Women’s Barebow, 2019 U.S. Open champ Claire Xie defended her title by defeating U.S. National champion Christina Lyons, who was shooting in her first national tournament.
The Men’s Barebow gold medal match featured veteran Titans John Dillinger and John Demmer. This rematch of 2019’s U.S. Open final, which Demmer won in a one-arrow shoot-off, again resulted in a shoot-off. This time, however, Dillinger prevailed.
In the Women’s Compound final, national champion Toja Ellison won a second title during the tournament by defeating Paige Pearce, who also was runner-up in the national championship.
The Men’s Compound final featured fifth-seed Reo Wilde and sixth-seed Kris Schaff, both of whom knocked out the higher qualifiers during match play. Schaff outshot Wilde in gusty winds to take the title.
The wind kicked up another notch for the Women’s Recurve final, where eighth-seed Alexandria Zuleta-Visser defeated sixth-seed Erin Mickelberry for her first U.S. Open crown.
The tournament’s final match, Men’s Recurve, ended with a one-arrow shoot-off in which Matt Requa defeated Joonsuh Oh, scoring a 10 to Oh’s wide-left 9.
Competition Archery Media broadcast the gold-medal matches live. You can see them all here.