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Friday, July 9, 2004
Updated: April 4, 5:12 PM ET
Hendrix's arrow again golden

By Steve Bowman
Great Outdoor Games staff — July 9, 2004

MADISON, Wis. — Once again, ugly doesn't matter as long as there's a little gold involved.

Randy Hendrix struck gold for the third time in the last four years in the Archery competition.
Randy Hendrix was almost upset — twice — during the course of the day but still won his third gold medal in the last four years in an Archery competition that seemed to favor the underdogs.

Hendrix bested Wayne Endicott in the gold medal round, 33 points to 24. Despite the win, it was his poorest round of the day, one that forced him to wrap up the speed round with six arrows rather than his customary four.

"I just got out of my rhythm,'' Hendrix said. "You practice for speed, then you tell your self to settle down and take your time and it throws you off."

It didn't help much that Hendrix had to survive an onslaught of hot challengers. They started in the quarterfinal round with a head-to-head match up with Rod White. White, a former Olympic gold medalist, forced Hendrix into a tie during the regular portion of the four-target competition in a round where several of the top shooters had already fallen.

They included Tim Gillingham, the No. 2 seed, who was dispatched by Jackie Caudle, the 2000 Great Outdoor Games. And Darren Collins, the 2003 gold medalist, who was bested by Endicott, a newcomer and self-described "dark horse" who systematically scored some of the highest scores of the competition.

For the most part, Hendrix's steady hand and ability to get through the speed round with very few arrows kept him advancing to the medal round, setting up an eventual showdown with Caudle, both set on regaining the gold medal.

Meanwhile, Endicott, the giant killer, shot past Collins to get into a semifinal match-up with two-time silver medalist Randy Ulmer.

"I was nervous shooting against Darren because I wanted to beat him,'' Endicott said. "But when I shot against Randy Ulmer, I was so calm. I didn't think I even had a chance. I was just happy to be shooting with him. He's an icon in our sport.

"I had to look at the scoreboard twice to believe that I had really beat him.''

Endicott's calm demeanor and his presence among the excepted top shooters in the world made him a crowd favorite.

"When I saw him shoot in practice I knew he was someone to watch,'' Hendrix said. "I didn't really want to mess up with him because he seemed so calm and deliberate.''

Hendrix, though, did mess up but only slightly. In the final round against Endicott, the two were tied at six after the William Tell round. Endicott took a six-point lead in the Bermuda Triangle station.

Next came the Risk Station, where the destiny of the match may have been decided. All day long, Endicott had gambled on that station, shooting at the 9-point ring, rather than one of the larger, lesser-valued point rings. And each time he had hit the mark. But in that round, with a six-point lead, he missed, opening the door for Hendrix to tie or take the lead.

Hendrix took no chance and went for the six, hitting it and tying the round going into the final four-shot speed round. Both shooters had experienced little trouble at that station during the duration of the event. But both needed six arrows to clean it, Hendrix was just faster giving him the edge and the gold.

In the Archery competition, competitors shoot four stations. The William Tell station, where two apples sit on pedestal and are hidden behind a rising and falling board. The shooters have five seconds to shoot the first apple and three seconds to shoot the second, before the apples are covered.

Each hit at that station is worth three points.

The next station is the Bermuda Triangle, which is a moving, crossing shot, where shooters can chose to hit a small 6-point ring or a larger 3-point ring.

From there they go to the Risk station, which is a long-range shot with four targets of varying sizes. The smallest about the size of a golf ball is worth 12 points, the others range up to nine points, six points and three points at a target the size of a dinner plate.

The final round is the Speed round, where shooters aim at three targets much like the dueling tree in the Rifle competition, with one final target that has to be knocked down. Each target is worth three points, with a three-point bonus given for the first archer to clean the bank.

Archery - Final Standings

1. Randy Hendrix, Clemons, N.C.
2. Wayne Endicott, Springfield, Ore.
3. Randy Ulmer, Cave Creek, Ariz.
4. Jackie Caudle, Gadsden, Ala.
5. Jeff Johnston, Dodgeville, Wis.
6. Darren Collins, Galena, Kansas
6. Rod White, Mount Pleasant, Iowa
8. Mark Herring, Kent, Ohio
9. Donald Bishop, Arden, N.C.
10. Chris Berry, Aurora, Mo.
10. Mike Slinkard, John Day, Ore.
12. Ginger Hopwood, Marietta, Ga.
13. Darin Mack, Avondale, Pa.
14. Tim Gillingham, Orem, Utah
14. Cindy Decker, Dalton, Pa.
16. Gerald Decker, Dalton, Pa