Towering trees frame some of the nation's most challenging terrain as the 2012 National Field Archery Championships got underway in Spokane, Washington.
Held in the rugged foothills of the Evergreen Archery Club, over sixty archers ranging from experts to novices gathered in the cool but sunny weather to shoot not only for the title of National Field Champion, but also for the opportunity to compete in the World Archery Field Championships in France later this year.
Day one was open practice and inspection, with archers sighting in for the following day's challenge - the 72 arrow run of the unmarked course. The day ended with rapidly dropping temps as archers headed off to rest up and recharge.
Day two opened with a cold and crisp beginning, with mid 30 degree and sunny weather greeting the archers as they sprinted off to a shotgun start across 24 targets. Archers encountered targets close in and afar as they shot into some difficult targets, including some targets that were nearly straight down.
Shooters from all over the United States quickly shot through the course, ending the day in the mid afternoon. With the scorecards gathered, the unofficial leaderboard showcases new talent and familiar names alike.
Former World Champion Dave Cousins tops the Senior Compound Male category, followed by Kevin Wilkey, with Rod Menzer and Jesse Brodwater tied for third. Paige Pearce stands atop the leaderboard for the Women's Senior Compound category, with Jamie Van Natta and Mary Zorn close by.
In the Recurve categories, Resident Athletes Jake Kaminski and Heather Koehl also lead their respective divisions. Joe McGlyn and Timm Hines will pose a challenge for the recurve men's title, while Nancey Tsai and Jory Schroeder are competing with Koehl for the top spot.
Several junior and cadet archers are also competing, including Elisabeth Flick, Kaleigh Rogers, Emily Fischer, Hunter Barthels, Evan Scudner and Ben Cleland. Heather, Miriam and Hardy Trafford - all veteran field archery competitors and former World Team members - are looking for berths to France, while Kit Flick, Joshua Raby and Hunter Conley are also making strong showings.
The third day of competition will introduce the known-distance element of the Championships, and will also introduce new challenges for the archers as a brand new section of the field is opened up for shooters to conquer. Unofficial updates can be found on USA Archery's Twitter page as well as on Facebook. Official results will be posted as soon as they are available.Submitted by Steve Yee; edited by USA Archery