COLUMBIA — Three short blasts from Charlie Langreder's whistle prompted dozens of competitors to head down the archery range and retrieve their fired arrows.
This year marks the 10th time Langreder has been the commissioner for the Show-Me State Games target archery event. He has been shooting bows and arrows for much longer than that.
"My passion has been archery for 60 years," Langreder said.
The Show-Me State Games target archery contest took place Saturday in an effort to determine Missouri's best with a bow and arrow. Archers of all ages came out to Stephens Lake Park to see if they could be the top shot.
About 20 supporters lingered back a few yards underneath the shade of the trees and away from the firing lines. Almost all of them peered through binoculars to look down the course in order to keep track of the results.
Officials estimated there were 112 people competing in this year's event. If accurate, that would beat the previous record of 110 competitors set last year.
The Show-Me State Games competition featured archers of all ages, offering divisions for archers under age 12 up to a senior division for shooters over 50.
"It's something we can do as a family," Donna Wiss said.
She competed in the archery contest with her sons Devan and Darek.
Archers had their own customized bows of all different shapes, sizes and colors. Some had attachments to aid in the release of the arrow and help gauge the trajectory.
"Now they have all this fancy stuff," volunteer Laura Teske said.
Competitors put a lot of time into working on their bow and practicing their shot.
"It takes a lot of practice," Langreder said. "You just don't pick up a bow and compete."
The competition takes place in three rounds. Archers shoot 30 arrows each from three distances. The outside ring of the target is worth one point with point values increasing by one point each ring in. The center is worth 10.
The Show-Me State Games also offers 3D archery, where archers are moving through a course and shooting at animal shaped targets.
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