Ellison continues winning streak at 2020 Lancaster Archery Classic

Mike Schloesser, Sarah Prieels, Brady Ellison, Casey Kaufhold and Keith Trail won the professional classes at the 2020 Lancaster Archery Classic on 26 January in Mannheim, USA. The names aren’t a surprise – but it’s a pretty big coincidence that all five were runners up in 2019.

Although it’s not a stop on the Indoor Archery World Series, the Classic has established itself as one of the world’s premier indoor tournaments. It attracted around 2000 participants and boasted a prize fund of more than 150,000 USD in 2020.

The rules deviate from that used by World Archery.

A 60-arrow qualification on the same three-spot target face is used but the small 10-ring (2cm), normally used by compounds, scores 11 and the large 10-ring (4cm) scores 10 for all bowstyles. The maximum score is 660 points.

There’s also three stages of the competition: qualification, eliminations bracket (cutting the field to eight or four) and then shoot-up finals.

All matches are decided on cumulative score over 12 arrows, with a maximum of 132 points available.

Brady Ellison has now won the recurve men’s event at the Classic in three of the last four years. He took it back-to-back in 2017 and 2018 before losing the final to Jack Williams in 2019.

The world number one flipped the narrative this year.

He shot the highest 12-arrow-match score of the shoot-up at 124 to defeat his USA teammate by three points. Jack had the advantage late but shot an eight in the last end to open the door for the world number one.

Ellison also beat Williams to gold at the most recent stage of the Indoor Archery World Series in Nimes.

“It’s awesome. I’ve been shooting so good this weekend. That last end I shot what I needed. I’m happy to come out on top,” said Brady.

“This is one of the highest-paying tournaments we have. It’s eight grand. You try not to think about it, but when you’re behind you start to think about it.”

“I’d rather shoot anyone against him in the final. Jack’s my buddy and let’s hope we go and win gold in Tokyo this year.”

Ellison’s form does not appear to have dipped after a career year in 2019 that saw him break the 70-metre ranking round world record and win the World Archery Championships for the first time.

Fifteen-year-old Casey Kaufhold, who used 2019 to cement her spot on the USA senior squad, lost last year’s Classic to Gaby Bayardo. In 2020, she beat Mackenzie Brown, 117-116, and then Ana Maria Rendon, 123-120, to take recurve women’s gold.

Masters (ages 50+) compounder Keith Trail entered his shoot-up as the favourite, needing only one win over Randy Morocco, 127-124, to take the title.

Reigning Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion Mike Schloesser did the same. He was the last to enter the eight-man compound open pro shoot-off – and proved too much of an obstacle for World Archery Champion James Lutz.

Lutz had won two matches, over Kyle Douglas and Stephan Hansen, but lost to Schloesser, 131-130.

It was decided on the last arrow.

James’ shot landed low in the bottom face and was called out of the 11-ring by the judge at the target.

“I feel more confident in myself this year. I‘m really happy about it,” said Mike. He lost the final in 2019 in a one-arrow shoot-off. “I’ve had some really good tournaments already this year. I wasn’t thinking about what happened last year. I was just trying to shoot my best. It feels really good.”

Mister Perfect, who last won the Lancaster Archery Classic in 2017, collected a tournament-high individual prize of 20,000 USD for first.

Sarah Prieels is the current world record holder for the 60-arrow 18-metre ranking round after shooting 597 out of a possible 600 points at the TRUBall/Axcel Roma Archery Trophy at the end of 2019.

The second seed in the compound women’s pro shoot-up, she beat Linda Ochoa-Anderson and then Paige Pearce in the final, 131-126.

“Coming in [to the shoot-up] I knew I was going to be on the podium and that’s a relief,” said Prieels. “I just tried to enjoy it, shoot good shots and see what happened.”

John Dillinger and Lina Bjorklund won the increasingly popular barebow competitions at the Classic, which awarded nearly 25,000 USD in prizes.

There is now a one-week break in the indoor calendar before the season concludes at the Vegas Shoot on 7-9 February 2020.

Up to 4000 archers are expected to take part in the tournament, the first two days of which count as the sixth stage of the Indoor Archery World Series, in the South Point Hotel and Casino.

The Indoor Archery World Series Finals​ will take place in the evening of Saturday 8 February.

The 2020 Lancaster Archery Classic took place on 24-26 January in Mannheim, USA.