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Area archers take shot at world’s best

A trio of area archers took their places among the world’s top archers with top-20 finishes at the 19th World Field Archery Championships in Croatia last week.

Grass Valley’s Mark Applegate and Penn Valleys’ Ty Pelfrey took 12th and 17th in the men’s senior barebow competition respectively.

Rebecca Nelson-Harris, from the Lake of the Pines, was 12th in the senior women’s barebow event.



Applegate, who made his fifth-straight trip to the bi-annual event as a member of Team USA, left the formerly war-torn nation with thoughts of what might have been.

“I was a little disappointed with my shooting,” he said. “I had been shooting better than (I ended up with). My unmarked scores were down, and so were my marked scores. There was one target I missed completely. (It was) just little mishaps like that.”




Unlike in Olympic-style archery where competitors have the advantage of shooting at targets on flat ground at both uniform distances and angles, field archers hike through a variety of natural settings, with extreme angles to targets – both high and low – with which to tend.

The tournament, which was held in the Plitvice Lakes National Park, put the competitors through their paces with a pair of 24-target rounds – the first with unmarked distances, and the second with marked distances – over two days.

The top 16 then advanced to the first elimination round.

“I think it was the most beautiful place I’d ever shot,’ Applegate said. “The lakes were crystal clear. You could see 15-20 feet down, and there were waterfalls everywhere,” Applegate said. “One lake would spill over into another. It was really gorgeous.”

Applegate and Nelson-Harris each made it out of the first round, but came up short in a bid for the third round.

Pelfrey’s chances to advance past the first round looked good with a 14th-place finish after the first day.

While he stumbled in the second day with a 20th place finish, he still had a shot to make the top 16 and stay alive.

“The first day I was very pleased with how I shot,” he said. “I felt really strong the second day, but it just didn’t seem to come together.”

“When I walked off the range the second day, I knew in my heart I wasn’t there,” Pelfrey added.

He was right.

He missed out on the second round by one point.

“There was one target I missed (altogether). In a competition like this, you can’t afford to drop an arrow. There were a lot of points out there. I left them all over the course,” he chuckled.

Pelfrey, who made the trip to Italy with team USA for the 18th World Field Archery Championships in 2002, was upbeat despite just missing the cut.

“It was a great experience. I shot with guys from Canada, Slovenia and France and just (being around) them was wonderful,” Pelfrey said. “Except for the guy from Canada, we didn’t speak the same language, but we communicated through the language of archery.”


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