CARRIER MILLS -- Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area in Carrier Mills was home to the 3D United States Intercollegiate Archery Championship (USIAC) hosted by Southeastern Illinois College Oct. 6-8. This was the third year the event has taken place at Sahara Woods.
The weekend's events began on Friday, Oct. 6 with an open practice, equipment inspection, and chronograph shoot. This helps ensure that all shooters are still on target from their travels and that they are legal for the tournament.
Saturday consisted of the archers shooting for their individual score by shooting 20 3D targets of first an unknown distance and then shooting 20 3D targets on a different range of known distances. Four of SIC's Falcon Archers finished in the top 10. These archers were John Whalen of Boonville, Indiana, who placed 6th in his division; Stephanie Poe of Arthur, Illinois, who placed 6th in her division; Tristan Whalen of Boonville, who placed 7th in his division; and Garrett Lane of Golconda, Illinois who placed 7th in his division.
Team rounds were held on Sunday. This was where three of the top shooters from each team and each division competed with one another. The three top archers' scores are combined to determine a champion among teams. SIC's bowhunter men's team of Garrett Lane of Golconda, Matt Horton of Thompsonville, Illinois, and Eli Bond of Thompsonville won silver medals.
"This weekend was exhilarating! I am very pleased and proud of how our men's bowhunter team worked together side-by-side to bring home the silver medal," said Bond.
SIC also took home silver medals in the compound men's division -- a team of John Whalen, Kenny Raigner, Jr. of Carmi, Illinois, and Dakota Anderson of Thompsonville. SIC's compound mixed team included Stephani Poe and John Whalen, who secured bronze medals for their team.
The high overall award this year went to Union College in Barbourville, Kentucky, followed by University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky, in the number two spot and University of California, Irvine in third.
The Falcon Archers are coached by Alli Armstrong, Darin DeNeal and Darrick Armstrong and advised by former head coach Archie Blair.
The event experienced a significant growth of archery participants this year with 23 teams represented by nearly 250 of the best shooters in the nation, including varsity squads traveling from a number of Division I colleges and universities.
For more information about SIC's archery program or the new Indoor Archery Center, which is now open to the public, visit www.sic.edu/archery.