Nearly 700 archers competing in 3rd Annual Champaign Illini Archery Invitational

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CHAMPAIGN – Jefferson Middle School’s archery program will be hosting the 3rd Annual Champaign Illini Archery Invitational on Friday and Saturday, January 22 – 23.

Close to 700 registered archers will be taking part in the invitational that will be held at Jefferson Middle School, as well as the Champaign Park District Leonhard Center. Invitational officials say this tournament is the largest in the state besides the State Tournament.

The program began in 2012 and has seen a lot of success since then. Jefferson Middle School’s archery program has won the State Tournament each year since 2013. The team is also 4th in the nation and 5th in the world. Head Coach Lynne Srull says she is proud of the dedication, hard work and maturity her archers demonstrate.

According to officials, since the sport is not IESA-sanctioned, the team does not receive financial support and relies on community sponsors to participate.

Coach Srull says it has been difficult to get the community excited about tournaments since they are typically not held locally. Unit 4 has been providing transportation throughout the season, but now the program will be able to compete at its own facilities.

“By being able to host this tournament in our own backyard, our administrators, family, friends and the community as a whole will be exposed to how hard the students work to be competitive,” Coach Srull says.

Srull also adds this local tournament will help them spark interests in younger students that are about to begin middle school to try archery.

The Champaign Illini Archery Invitational is open to the public, but there will be a fee at the door. Adults pay $3, and students will pay $2.

Shooting on Friday, January 22, begins at 6 PM and ends at 8 PM. The tournament will begin again at 8 AM on Saturday, January 23, and end at 6 PM.

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