The 2017 Lancaster Archery Classic is in the history books and it definitely was one for the ages.The largest field ever – 1,093 archers – turned out at the Classic’s largest venue ever – the 750,000-square-foot Spooky Nook Sports Complex outside Manheim, Pa. - from Jan. 27-29. This was the 14th year Lancaster Archery Supply put on the professional tournament, which is the largest indoor archery competition on the East Coast of the United States.
The best of the best from all over the world competed in 15 divisions over the three-day tournament. And they sure put on a display of the finest archery seen anywhere, in any competition.The barebow archers - archers shooting recurve bows with no sights - posted two "Robin Hoods" during competition. A Robin Hood is when an archer drills one arrow directly into the back of another, so the two arrows are stuck together. It indicates two arrows hitting the target in exactly the same spot. It's an incredible feat for any archer to accomplish, but it's extra special when a barebow archers hits one.
On the compound bow side, Stefan Hansen posted the top qualifying score of 659. That means that, out of 60 arrows, Stefan, who lives in Denmark, shot 59 arrows in the center bull's-eye, which is about the size of a penny. He had only one arrow hit outside that 11-point ring. It landed in the 10-ring.One of the biggest storylines out of this year’s Classic has to be the fact that all-world Olympic recurve archer Brady Ellison finally won Lancaster. Ellison, who holds the world indoor record of 599 out of 600 and who took the individual bronze at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio – as well as a team silver medal - had finished second at the LAS Classic three times in the past, but had never won it.Until this year.“Finally got this one,” Ellison said after he took the Men’s Recurve title by defeating Canadian champion, Crispin Duenas, who is a two-time winner at the Classic.“The competition here is always tough,” he said.
The Men’s Open Pro competition was just as hot as it could have been. The second shoot-up match between Logan Wilde and Dan McCarthy ended in a tie, and it had to go to a shoot-off.In the Classic, shoot-offs can consist of a total of three arrows. The first two are sudden death. That is, each archer shoots one arrow. If one scores higher than the other, the winner is declared. If both score the same, they move to a second, sudden-death arrow. If both archers are tied after the second arrow, they each shoot one arrow at the target and the one that’s closest to dead center wins it.McCarthy and Wilde went to that third arrow before Wilde was declared the winner. In the fourth match, Jacob Marlow and three-time Classic champ Jesse Broadwater were tied after the regular competition, and they also had to shoot three arrows in their shoot-off. Marlow won with an arrow that was nearly perfectly in the middle of the target.“This is what we want to see,” Kaufhold said of the shoot-offs. The crowd cheered in agreement.Marlow then defeated Chance Beaubouef to take on top qualifier Mike Schloesser of Denmark – World Archery’s No. 2-ranked archer.Schloesser put on a clinic in target archery, showing why he carries the nickname, “Mr. Perfect.” He shot twelve 11s in a row to claim the title of 2017 Men’s Open Pro champion, and the top prize of $15,000 from Lancaster Archery Supply. With contingency payments from his sponsors, Schloesser likely cleared $20,000 for the weekend competition.
All totaled, Lancaster Archery Supply gave away more than $150,000 in cash and prizes at the Classic, and sponsor contingencies up for grabs were around $200,000.Casey Kaufhold - the 12-year-old daughter of Lancaster Archery Supply owners Rob and Carole Kaufhold - stole the crowd's heart by shooting her way into the finals of the Women's Recurve division, where she faced U.S. Olympic Team archer and 2016 Classic champion, Mackenzie Brown.Casey could have shot in the youth division, since that class covers archers age 11-17, but she told her parents it was a dream of hers to compete against Mackenzie Brown, who is arguably the best female recurve archer in the U.S.
Casey’s path to that finals match wasn’t easy – especially for a 12-year-old. First, she had to win an elimination match against U.S. Archery Team member, former National Champion and 2015 LAS Classic Champion, LaNola Pritchard, which she did by just one point. Then she had to win two finals matches to earn the right to face Brown. Showing poise beyond her years, she did just that, garnering more and more applause with each solid arrow.In the finals match, Casey shot a solid round, but she couldn't take down Brown, who won the title for a second year in a row.
Below is a complete listing of the top-three finishers - in order from first to third - in each of the 15 divisions at this year's Classic.Men’s Open Pro
– Mike Schloesser, Jacob Marlow, Chance BeaubouefWomen’s Open Pro
– Sarah Sonnichsen, Erika Jones, Paige GoreMasters Open Pro
– Duane Price, Billy Hicks, Benton ChristensenMen’s Recurve
– Brady Ellison, Crispin Duenas, Zachary GarrettWomen’s Recurve
– Mackenzie Brown, Casey Kaufhold, Gabriela BayardoBarebow Recurve
– John Demmer III, Bobby Worthington, Scott BillsBowhunter
– Caleb Kerstetter, Justin Clark, Jonathan PurdyYouth Recurve Male (11-17)
– Conner Kaufhold, Timothy Chung, Reece Wilson-PoytonYouth Recurve Female (11-17)
– Lianna Pottgen, Alyssa Artz, Lindsey BouffardSenior Open
– Dee Wilde, Benny Parenteau, Richard TheiligMen’s Open
– Ethan King, Ryan Locke, Ryan ReedWomen’s Open
– Sophia Strachan, Katie Fladzinski, Melissa McBrideMasters Open
– Tony Harris Kent Stigall, Rick SmithYouth Open Male (11-17)
– Anthony Ferraro, Eli Hughes, Michael Hulburt Jr.Youth Open Female (11-17
) – Valerie Aten, Alexis Ruiz, Hannah MooseThe Classic is a monumental effort that is the result of a full year of planning and hard work by every one of Lancaster Archery Supply's employees. Those employees converted two massive fields within the Spooky Nook Sports Complex - which normally is used for football, volleyball, soccer and similar field sports - into a high-caliber archery range in less than two days.Equally important in making the Classic possible are the event sponsors.Lancaster Archery Supply thanks its 2017 Classic sponsors: TRU Ball/Axcel, Hoyt, Dead Center, Carbon Express, Mathews, Black Eagle, Carter, Bloodsport, Doinker, BCY, Victory, Scott, CBE, Easton, Shrewd, SKB, Shibuya, Gold Tip, B-Stinger, Vortex Optics, American Whitetail, Top Hat, Stan, Win&Win, Cartel, Prime, Elite, Leupold, PSE, Gateway, Last Chance, Gearhead, Limbsaver, Neet, Beiter, Big Shot Targets, Speciality Archery, Flex Fletch, AAE Feather Vision, Spot Hogg, Rinehart, Bohning, Bowtech, HHA, Sure Loc, Competition Archery and Maple Leaf.