Two of Molalla’s archers recently went to the Outdoor Field Nationals in Darrington, Wash. Randy Spanfellner took sixth in freestyle, and Darrel Sandquist took fourth in freestyle limited. Prior to nationals both took firsts in the Oregon Bow Hunters State Championship, in CORY MIMMS - Darrel Sandquist and Randy Spanfellner draw back their bows.

The difference between the two classes is equipment. In freestyle, archers can use any equipment they want, but in freestyle limited they must use their fingers to release the arrow.

“Finger shooters are a dying breed,” Sandquist said. This is because the competition in the sport has eliminated any room for error.

Archers use release aids, stabilizers, and complex sites, which computer programs help them to set perfectly.

“There’s no room for missing,” Spanfellner said.

During the five-day tournament, Spanfellner and Sandquist shot every day, multiple times. Archers compete in three different rounds—field, hunter and animal—and the scores are compiled. Each day they shoot twice in both field and hunter but only once in animal. There are 28 targets in each round and four arrows per target.

By the end of the day, fatigue can cause errors. “It wears on you,” Spanfellner said.

Spanfellner, 58, and Sandquist, 57, have been shooting since high school, and both would like to start an archery club in Molalla, as the sport is gaining momentum here. Spanfellner said anyone interested in getting into the sport can call him at (503) 896-7559.

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