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Jones Reaches Personal Goal of Archery Trifecta

Erika Jones came to the First Dakota Classic archery tournament with one goal: To take first place.

Jones met her goal Sunday afternoon, making it her third first-place win in a row.

She previously won her division at The Vegas Shoot in February in Las Vegas and the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) Indoor National Championships in Louisville, Ky., in March.

“It feels great to take first place,” she said. “I came in hoping to be able to say I won all three of the tournaments, so it was really cool to be consistent enough the last few months to be able to win these three tournaments.”

Jones, who is from Grand Island, Neb., said her father got her started with archery, something she has participated in since she was just six years old.

“He's always hunted and he shoots competitively locally, and at the time my mom was working a lot,” Jones said. “He was kind of the baby-sitter, and if he was baby-sitting we were going to the archery range. It gave me and him years of bonding time. It definitely shaped my career.”

Jones has been shooting for a total of 18 years, and said she participates in roughly 20 tournaments a year.

“It's literally all I've ever known,” she said. “There are a whole bunch of tournaments coming up now, and I don't have an off weekend until the beginning of July. Then I only have that one weekend before we go five or six weeks. It takes a lot of time and work and dedicating your life to it.”

For this tournament in particular, Jones said she was glad to see a local turnout.

“It's really exciting to come to a small town like Yankton and have people here from all over the country,” she said. “For most of the top professionals here this is just another tournament on the circuit. For a lot of the local archers who come up just for this tournament, this is pretty cool for them.”

Even after 18 years, Jones said there is still a process, which she will continue to work on looking forward.

“You have to build on things and work on different parts of the game whether that's the mental game or the equipment or your form,” she said. “It's definitely a long process, and there's always something new to work on.”