October 25th and 26th, 2003
Eldorado Park, Long Beach, CA
The 2003 Duel in the Desert in California was a unique one. The Duel in the Desert is hosted by a cooperative of the Southern California JOAD clubs. One of the nice things about competing at Eldorado Park is that the park entry fee is paid at the gate and does not take away from tournament proceeds. In contrast, events at Ben Avery must charge $10 to $ 15 dollars more to pay off the AZ Game and Fish Department of $5 per day range fee. The entry fee for the same tournament at Ben Avery would be $45 including a practice day and both tournament days.
Proceeds from the California Duel tournament will be used to purchase tournament equipment that is made available to all the area JOAD clubs. All of the California Duel help including Judges and DOS are volunteers. The California Duel in the Desert series is a model of JOAD cooperation and unity!
In 2003, California fielded a full team and Arizona had a full team until the last minute. By the end of the tournament Arizona still had 23 competitors to California’s 22, unique. The majority of Arizonans made their way to California on Friday with news of wild fires in the LA area. The drive into Long Beach was similar to driving thru heavy fog. The fires proved to be a significant factor. Let us hope that the “uniqueness” of this tournament is not repeated again.
The tournament began on Saturday morning. California set up a nice cactus garden and displayed a “Duel in the Desert” banner.
During official practice, Nicole Rasor robin hooded a California team member’s arrow at 70 meters to foreshadow the final results. Shooting for score began at 10:30 AM as late registrants were accommodated. There were about 140 archers including Disabled US and Canadian Team members, Dine’ College and Stanford University team members and area JOADs. Between ends, music is played and some wander over to the two giant “lube tubes” in the middle of the field. After official practice the first long distance was shot and then an hour lunch break was taken. There was a food concessionaire on site. A tee shirt vendor was also on site to create exactly the shirt you wanted.
The second distance scoring began at 1:30 PM. The smell of smoke was evident and flakes of ash fell like bits of snow. After thirty-six more arrows it was time for many of the Arizona Team to head to Joe’s Crab Shack for an early dinner. After a little dinner and “dancing”, the team went separate ways hoping that the night would put the fires to bed. After the first day, the California men had a commanding lead and the California women were also leading. Many of the mens and ladies matches were very close and made leader board watching interesting.
The Sunday morning TV news was exclusively fire related. Over the evening, the fires had moved into housing areas and early reports indicated that hundreds of homes were lost. Two California competitors and an alternate that was pressed into duty, withdrew from the competition because of freeway closures and the need to see if their houses needed attention, unique.
The competition began around 9:30 AM as the concerns about the fire imparted a sense of urgency. There were no lunch concessions so an hour and a half lunch break was taken.
In spite of the new day, the California men continued to win most of the matches even though many were very close. By days end, the California won the Men’s Team competition as well as the overall California Duel in the Desert Team competition. On the other hand Arizona women came back strongly gaining ground on every end. The Arizona women were able to win many close matches. By days end the five of the six Senior Women’s FITA tournament medals were won by Arizona team members. WOW. Arizona will keep the Duel in the Desert Women’s Team trophy for a second year in a row even though the 2003 Arizona Women Team was short one member.
The event was over by 3:30 PM and awards given out by 4:15 PM. California had just gotten off daylight savings time the night before. As a result many left the field around 5:30 PM Arizona time to return to Phoenix by 1:00 AM and Tucson by 3:00 AM.
As of this writing fires continue to rage from LA to San Diego and have reached disastrous proportion. More and more homes are being destroyed and most disturbingly lives are being lost. Our little Duel in the Desert pales in comparison to the fires that grip southern California. We hope that normalcy will return soon and look forward to welcoming California Duel in the Desert Team to Arizona in October of 2004.
How did the AZJOAD do? Terrific!
Brandon Hunt Junior Male Compound won all of the distances and won the FITA gold medal, Congratulations Brandon.
Brady Ellison Junior Compound team alternate competed in the open portion of the tournament and won the FITA silver medal behind Brandon.
Michael Mitchell, Junior Male Recurve did not fare as well, better luck next time.
Mary Frangos, Junior Female Recurve won four out of five points and FITA gold, Great Job Mary.
Robyn Repp competed as a Senior Compound to fill out the Senior team and won a distance point, good work.
Maggie Huff competed as a Senior Recurve and finished with a bronze FITA medal and a distance and FITA match victory.
Lindsay Pian competed as a Senior Recurve and finished with a silver FITA medal and three distances and a FITA match victory.
Rocky Repp, bowman compound, competed in the open portion of the tournament and won a gold medal for the FITA.
Arizona did not field a Junior Female compound and forfeited all five points.
1. Every State would benefit from more girl and boy JOADs in both recurve and compound bow.
2. In the short term Arizona needs more Female compound archers to be able to field a full team. Arizona female JOADs in general are depended upon to fill the senior team positions. They do a good job at it.
3. Arizona seems to have a good number of senior males but few junior males.
4. Jessica Grant won the compound FITA gold medal while Becky Pearson won silver.
5. Nicole Rasor won the recurve FITA gold medal.
6. Dine College’s Brenda Harrison won FITA gold in the Collegiate Womens Recurve Division
7. Tournament organizers canceled two of the Senior Women Compound matches by granting two CA people excuses who did not compete on the 2nd day due to the fires, These two matches were not judged forfeits so AZ was not awarded those distances or FITA total points in two matches. Rules governing use of Alternates during the tournament and when is a match canceled versus forfeited need to be clarified.