This weekend was the annual Lancaster Classic in PA. My first year in archery, this tournament was a real eye opener, and that weekend still remains one of my best experiences in the sport. I asked lots of questions, attended all the seminars and was fully embraced by the archery community. Last year at the Lancaster Classic, I qualified really well, but I lost in my first elimination round. So before this year, my stats were:
Year 1: Didn’t qualify for eliminations
Year 2: Qualified, but eliminated match 1
So what happened in year 3? Well, I was hoping the 3rd time was the charm and I was going to win the whole thing, but that wasn’t exactly what happened. R and I got there late Thursday night (drove after work), so we were able to hit the practice range first thing Friday morning. After shooting awhile with my 27s, I decided to try my new triumphs that had just arrived the day before we left. Using my favorite app (ArcherZUpshot), I shot a game with the triumphs and compared with my 27s. After talking with some fellow pros, we agreed I’d go with the triumphs (group was tighter, and just vertical) and just adjust my rest.
I shot qualifications the next morning at 9am, and I was able to get plenty of practice in, thanks to the great new facility for the tournament. I opened with three 11s, but I couldn’t keep that pace up and shot a pretty poor score my first half. I knew I was making strong shots, so I told myself to just continue doing what I was doing and they would start scoring better. I dropped 5 points in my first two ends after the switch, which had me pretty disappointed. I knew all I could do was keep making good shots, and I couldn’t focus on the score. The rest of that half went much better, and I actually shot a perfect Vegas 300 (599 for the day)!
I knew my score would not put me in a great spot, but I knew I could beat everyone on elimination day and still win. After looking at my targets, we all decided I would go back to my large diameter 27s for the next day, so it was back to the practice range to retune my bow. I learned I qualified 8th, which meant I got to face Christine in the first match on Sunday.
It was a close match, as I shot a 32 EVERY SINGLE END, but that was enough to win by a point and move on to my final match before making the shootup (something unique to the Lancaster tournament). I had to face the #1 seed, Danielle, but I was confident. I was rolling with my shot feeling good and my shots landing well. And then they told us to sit for over an hour while the men and recurve archers shot their next matches.
We then jumped up and had one end of practice before going into 2 ends of 6 arrow scoring (first match was 4 ends of 3). I felt a little too relaxed in the practice ends, but I tried to buckle down as we started to score. My first two shots were too strong, sending them to the top of the 10 ring (meaning I was already down two points). I managed to only drop 1 more 11 out of the 4 in that end, but I knew I was in trouble.
Luckily, she only had a 1 point advantage on me, so I knew I was still in it with the final end left. I focused on 6 good shots, but my first two were out low this time. I thought I had cleaned the rest, so I knew it was going to be close (I knew I needed her to drop 3 points to tie things up). She ended up shooting a 9 and two 10s, but I also had one that was “just” out, meaning we had tied.
I was so excited, as I love single arrow shootoffs, but then I was reminded that in this tournament, ties are first broken by the number of 11s shot. Even though our scores were tied, she had one more 11 (because she had shot a 9 and I hadn’t), so there would be no shootoff. I was pretty upset bc I was really looking forward to the shootoff and a chance to shoot in the shootup, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Danielle went on to win all 3 shootup matches, making her the champion, and I’m now thinking it must be 5th times the charm (not 3rd).
Year 3: Win one match, but miss shootup
Year 4: Make shootup
Year 5: Win the whole dang thing
As I drove home, I realized I had shot 0 nines in my two elimination matches, meaning I had shot a total of ONE nine all weekend for score. That has me pretty excited for Vegas this year, after finishing 2nd last year to a perfect 900. Next up is Nimes, France for the next leg of the indoor World Cup, and then I jump over to Italy for what I believe is the first annual Italian Challenge.