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NFAA Easton Yankton
Archery Complex

800 Archery Lane
Yankton, SD 57078


Weekdays: 9am - 9pm
Saturday: 10am - 7pm
Sunday: 12pm - 7pm

Shoot-Off Ends Weekend

To claim his first place title Sunday afternoon, Jesse Broadwater needed to make the perfect shot.

His first place finish came from a shoot-off against Braden Gellenthien for the Championship Male Freestyle division in the First Dakota Classic, one of two archery tournaments that concluded Sunday at the Easton Yankton Archery Complex.

“There was a lot of pressure,” Broadwater said. “At that distance, with the yards, you have to make a perfect shot. When you're under pressure like that it's pretty hard to make a perfect shot. It was pretty intense. I've been in that situation before, but it's still not easy.”

But Broadwater wasn't expecting to do that well, he said.

“I didn't practice a whole lot coming into this, so I didn't have high expectations coming in,” he said. “My equipment and everything performed flawlessly, so I was really fortunate to have good sponsors and good equipment to pull me through when I don't get enough time to practice like I should. I'm happy about it.”

Randy Ulmer, from Cave Creek, Ariz. also took part in a shoot off Sunday. His was for second place in the First Dakota Classic men's senior division against Tom Crowe.

Although a lot of pressure comes with a shoot off, Ulmer said this one was fun because of his friendship with Crowe.

“Tom and I have been shooting against each other for 30 years,” he said. There's a lot of history there and we're good friends. There was actually a lot more fun involved, and plus it wasn't for first place. There's always a lot more pressure when you're shooting for first place.”

Ulmer recently started competing professionally again after taking a break for a few years.

“I shot professionally for years and years, and I just got back into it in the senior division,” he said. “It feels great to come back.”

Crowe ended the tournament placing third in the Classic and first in the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) Unmarked 3D Championship. Crowe has won the tournament before, but said it had been a few years since then.

Crowe said weather was a concern.

“It was very cold the first day,” he said. “When the snow is blowing in your face and you're trying to concentrate on judging and shooting your bow it's pretty tough. I just try not to pay any attention to it. It's snowing on everybody, and the wind is blowing on everybody. You just have to do the best you can.”

Ultimately, Crowe said he was happy to place first and third, mainly because not many archers succeed in both divisions.

“You can excel in one part, but it's hard to excel in both,” Crowe said. “Before I ever went into 3D I was one of the top target shooters, and then I got into 3D and it took me almost two years to get good at 3D. I let my target end of it kind of slide, and now I'm doing as much as I can at both ends. It is difficult to be good in both divisions. There are only few people who do that.”

Indoor Conditions

Despite the cold conditions Saturday, archers participating in the First Dakota Classic were able to stay inside thanks to the new Easton Foundation complex.

NFAA president Bruce Cull said turnout was up from last year because of the new building.

“We're really impressed with the turnout we had for the actual classic,” he said. “Last year we were down because it was outside, and weather has always been an issue. The fact that we have this new Easton Foundation 70-meter range definitely showed its colors this weekend. People just loved it. The range is state-of-the-art, and we've got some of the best lighting you can have. Everything has gone really well.”

Paige Pearce, from Redbluff, Calif., said she preferrs to shoot outdoors, but was glad to have the tournament inside because of South Dakota weather condition.

“I'm not a huge indoor person, but because it's in Yankton and it's this time of the year I would prefer to shoot indoor here,” she said. “It is really cool that they can build a facility where we can host an indoor tournament.”

Archers will also compete in Yankton starting Wednesday for the International Field Archery Association World Indoors, which will be held Friday through Sunday. Cull said spreading the tournaments throughout the week is beneficial.

“It's neat because it's spread out over a long duration, so it doesn't kill us with a huge number,” he said. “We like that because we're used to having the bigger ones where we have 2,000 people all at once. That takes quite a crew compared to what we've got now, which we can do with just a few people.”

Cull said spreading the two apart will benefit the community.

“When we bring 2,000 people in here they don't all get to stay in Yankton,” he said. “This is nice because the town can accommodate them, they're a little more relaxed and it's the last tournament of the year for them.”