Rick Stonebreaker takes Masters National Outdoor title

Tyrone native Rick Stonebreaker came away with his first archery championship in the masters division (50 and over) recently at the National Target Championship in Canton, Michigan.
Stonebreaker was competing in the masters division outdoors for the first time, after winning the Indoors Masters in 2001 and the National Field Championship as well.
His championship did not come without a fight. On the first day of competition at 90 meters, Rick made a “slight” error in his calculations and found himself 42 points out of the lead in fourth place. The setback was only temporary however. Unfazed by his miscue, Stonebreaker made his correction and in the second round set a new national record for 50 meters and went on to nail down the Masters National Championship by a solid 15 points. The championship at Canton, is Rick’s 13th national archery title overall.
After the individual portion of the tournament was concluded, Stonebreaker teamed up with veteran masters archers Ed Eliason and Jerry Pylypchuk in the team round, listing themselves as “USA Classics,” in the open round shooting against all age divisions. Although they did not win the team round, they did claim the silver medal and set a new team world record in the masters division. Their combined qualifying scores also were submitted as world records. Along the way, Rick also qualified three other scores during the week as possible masters world records.
FITA is the world governing body for Olympic style archery and although FITA recognizes the masters division as 50 and older, they have not recognized world records until this year. As of April 1, 2002, FITA will recognize world records in the masters division. Every archer competing that was born on December 31, 1952 or earlier will be asked to compete for a claim in the 2002 Master World Records. This came about when Rick Stonebreaker asked the National Archery Association to write a proposal to FITA to consider world records for the masters division and possibly a world championship as well.
FITA announced that they gave the approval for world records for the masters division. This is a very proactive stand by the organization, because there are many quality “mature” archers who should not have to place their equipment in moth balls simply because they had no place to compete.
Rick likes to borrow the slogan from the Senior Olympics, “We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing,”
In conjunction with the International Masters Games Association, FITA has agreed that the archery portion of the 2002 World Masters Games will be the official world championship for the FITA Masters Division. This event will be held in Melbourne, Australia, in October. The World Masters Games are staged every four years and are used to promote activity from the age of 30 and above in age groups. The World Masters Games encompasses 26 different sports.
Rick Stonebreaker plans to attend this “groundbreaking event” in Melbourne, and believes he will succeed in doing his best. Rick believes the keys to success are “Persistence, Perseverence, Patience and lots of Practice.”