Southeastern Illinois College’s Eli Bond will soon have a chance to shoot for a third national title at the US Collegiate Archery Association’s (USCA) and National Field Archery Association’s (NFAA) national indoor collegiate championships in Las Vegas, Nevada Feb. 9-12.
The Vegas Shoot, known as the largest and most prestigious indoor archery tournament in the World, attracts over 3,500 novice to Olympic archers from around the Globe and includes 3-intense days of no error competition. The weekend competition includes the traditional 3-spot 20-yard “Vegas Round” that made this tournament famous.
Bond, from Thompsonville, Illinois, is ranked #1 in the nation by USA Archery in the men’s collegiate bow hunter division in 3D competition. In indoor archery, he is ranked #6 in the nation by USCA. He and archery coach Alli Armstrong hope that ranking will change in Las Vegas.
“Eli is nothing short of incredible, both as a person and a competitor,” said Armstrong. “He represents the very best of what the college stands for and serves as a role model for shooters of all ages. With his calm demeanor, commitment to archery, and outstanding ability with a bow, his chances of winning in Vegas are extremely high.”
Bond survived a grueling regional competition in Madisonville, Kentucky earlier in the year to earn a trip to the Vegas nationals. Regional competitions were held in California, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Only the top eight shooters in each division from all four regionals combined qualified for the national event.
Bond’s two national championships came in 2017 at the USA Archery National Collegiate 3D Championships in Foley, Alabama, where he won gold in the individual men’s bow hunter division and gold in the bow hunter team division. Teammates Hunter Chowning from Covington, Indiana and Matt Horton from Thompsonville, Illinois were part of that gold medal team.
USA Archery is the national governing body for the Olympic sport of archery and is the organization recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee for the purpose of selecting and training men’s and women’s teams to represent the U.S. in the Olympic, Paralympic, and Pan American Games. USA Archery also selects teams for World Championships, World Cups, and other international competitions annually.