By Michaelean Pike
Many sports fans spend winter watching football and basketball, but archery fans know winter means one thing: indoor season.
This winter’s exciting events featured new records and hefty payouts.
The Indoor Archery World Series, which features six events worldwide, started in November with the Macau Indoor Archery Open in Macau, China. From there it went to Strasse, Luxembourg; Rome, Italy; Sydney, Australia; Nimes, France; and Las Vegas, Nevada. This series features four championship categories that form the elite division: recurve men, recurve women, compound men, and compound women.
The Indoor World Series also emphasizes recreation through the open division, where members of World Archery associations can compete. This division includes youth and barebow categories.
The series also has a team division, which is open to nations, clubs, companies and other groups. Individual results are combined to determine overall team results, and teams are ranked throughout the season.
Archers are ranked by their top three points totals. The top 16 archers at the season’s end compete in the Indoor World Series Final in Las Vegas.
The T.R.U. Ball/Axcel Roma Archery Trophy is the third leg of the Indoor Archery World Series. The Roma Trophy, which was Dec. 14-16 in Rome, was the series’ third-largest event and featured over 580 archers.
Belgium’s Sarah Prieels set a compound women’s 60-arrow 18-meter world record by shooting 597 out of 600 points. The previous record, 596, was set at the second leg of the Indoor World Series in Luxembourg three weeks earlier. Ella Gibson of Great Britain set that record, and Belgium’s Janine Meissner matched it the next day. Prieels won gold in the event, while Croatia’s Amanda Mlinaric took silver, and the USA’s Paige Pearce won bronze.
In the compound women’s open division, para-archer Jane Karla Gogel of Brazil shot 577 to break her own record of 575, which she had set in Luxembourg.
Team Mathews’ Braden Gellenthien and Tanja Jensen joined the Indoor World Series at the Roma Trophy.
Italy’s Marco Galiazzo won gold in recurve men, with the USA’s Brady Ellison and Jack Williams taking silver and bronze, respectively. South Korea’s Chae Young Kang took gold in recurve women, with Italy’s Tatiana Andreoli and Chiara Rebagliati claiming silver and bronze, respectively. In compound men, Dave Cousins, USA, took gold; Valerio Della Stua, Italy, took silver; and Mike Schloesser, Netherlands, took bronze.
The ISAA Pro Am brought professionals and amateurs together Jan. 3-5 for an exciting tournament in Des Moines, Iowa. With over 600 archers participating annually, the ISAA Pro Am generates proceeds for worthwhile causes. The tournament has donated over $20,000 to Iowa’s Archery in the Schools Programs and $7,400 for college scholarships. It has also sponsored youth archery travel, Pheasants Forever Mid-Iowa youth events, and the John Stoddard Cancer Center and Retrieving Freedom, which supports service dogs for veterans and autistic children.
The Pro-Am’s divisions include barebow, freestyle, freestyle limited, freestyle bowhunter, freestyle limited bowhunter; and Olympic youth, adult and senior categories. It also has a team division.
In the pro freestyle adult men division, Kris Schaff took first, with David Houser second, and Braden Gellenthien third. In the pro freestyle adult female division, Paige Pearce took first, with Danielle Wentzel second, and Sarah Prieels third.
The Midwest Open Pro/Am tournament doesn’t require archers to belong to associations or organizations. The archers also don’t need a pro card to shoot in the championship division.
The 2019 PSE Midwest Open was Dec. 11-13 in Peoria, Illinois, and consisted of NFAA 5 Spot 360 and Vegas 330 rounds. The Perfect Score Challenge offered $1,000 to an adult who shot a perfect 690.
Paul Tedford won the pro male freestyle division, while Steven Collins took second, and Cole Zeug third. In pro female freestyle, Dusti Batsch placed first, Cassidy Cox second, and Danelle Wentzel third. In the amateur $ male freestyle division, Marc Gruber took first, Jason Goedken second, and Zach Plnsky third. In the amateur $ female freestyle division, Cassie Flood took first, Haley Golden second, and Kate Iodice third.
Although several archers shot a perfect 360 in the 5 Spot round, and Marc Gruber became the third archer to shoot a perfect 330 in the Vegas round, no one has yet shot that 690.
Oh, well. There’s always next year.
The Lancaster Archery Classic, held Jan. 23-26 in Manheim, Pennsylvania, featured nearly 2,200 archers competing for over $400,000 in cash, contingencies and door prizes, reinforcing the event as archery’ largest tournament in the East. The tournament drew competitors from 28 countries, and included 540 youths in the Easton Youth and Collegiate Trophy Tournament. That event allowed participants to compete in the Classic for a lower fee and in less time than during the full tournament.
The Classic added a women’s barebow division this year instead of the combined men’s and women’s class, and drew over 60 women.
Men’s Open Pro Champion Mike Schloesser won the $20,000 top payout. Sarah Prieels won the women’s open pro division, and Brady Ellison won the men’s recurve division for the third time. Casey Kaufhold, 15, won the women’s recurve division.
The Vegas Shoot, held Feb. 7-9 at the South Point Casino, drew a record-setting 3,816 participants from all 50 states and 53 other countries to compete for over $490,000 in prize money. Attendees also got to see the Indoor World Series Final, the culmination of the six-leg Indoor World Series.
The weekend’s big winner was Kyle Douglas, who won $54,000 as the compound open champion. Douglas defeated Jesse Broadwater and Christopher Perkins, who finished second and third, respectively.
In addition, Brady Ellison recorded the first perfect score in the recurve division, earning $10,000 and the male championship. Later, when shooting in the Indoor World Series Final, Ellison took silver in the men’s recurve division behind Belgium’s Florian Kahllund.
Paige Pearce became the sixth woman to shoot a perfect score at the Vegas tournament. She also won gold in the compound female championship division. Pearce also won gold in the Indoor World Series Final, with Estonia’s Lisell Jaatma and Belgium’s Sarah Prieels taking silver and bronze, respectively. Prieels also won $10,000 as part of the new $10K-a-Day Championship Shoot Off, in which champions who shot 300 points Friday or Saturday competed for a bonus prize.
Mike Schloesser of the Netherlands won the Indoor World Series men’s Final compound, while Stephan Hansen of Denmark finished second, and Girard Nicholas of France third. In the recurve women division, South Korea’s Nayeon Wi and Hye Jin Chang, won gold and silver, respectively, while Belgium’s Elena Richter won bronze.
The National Field Archery Association and the Easton Foundations presented $40,000 in scholarships to 62 young archers and three collegiate teams during the event.
The USA Archery Indoor Nationals are held in 13 locations over five weekends. Top male and female archers in recurve and compound divisions, as well as the top barebow and collegiate archers, will compete at the USA Archery Indoor Nationals Final in Louisville, Kentucky, March 19-20.
Louisville will also play host March 20-22 to the NFAA Indoor Nationals, the second leg of the 3 Star Tour. Nearly 2,000 NFAA archers participated in the tournament last year, with all shooting for a chance at a national title.
As exciting as it is to watch archery tournaments, shooting in one is even more fun. To get started, visit an archery store to find the right equipment. And while you’re there, consider taking lessons or a class.