How I got my groove back
How I got my groove back

How I got my groove back

Leading into the 3rd leg of the indoor World Cup circuit, I’ve had some disappointing results the past month. In Bangkok, Iowa, AND Lancaster there was always something missing. After a great year last year, I was getting frustrated that I could never seem to put things together in a tournament, so I really didn’t know what to expect in Nimes.

IMG_7200I arrived in Paris first thing Thursday morning, after a direct flight from Boston the night before. I then met up with some other US archers, and we took the train down to Nimes. This put us there early afternoon, with practice the next morning. Because there were over 1000 participants, I knew practice was going to be crazy (plus they only allotted 2.5 hours of practice time total for everyone). I made sure I got there in time to start right away, and I only managed to miss one practice end during the entire session (when I was waiting in line for bow inspection). To say my practice went poorly would be an understatement. My shots felt pretty good, yet, NOTHING would hit the 10 ring. Even worse, we were using targets which showed both recurve 10 and our 10 ring, and I was missing a ton of recurve (Vegas) 10s as well.

I knew I couldn’t stress out about it, and I’ve had lots of miserable practice days so I wasn’t too concerned. I did have a friend spin my arrows to check them since this is the one thing I am still not able to do on my own. I had two questionable arrows, so I put those back in my case, not to be shot unless disaster struck. At this point it was time for the first of 4 qualification rounds, and many US archers were at that time. I make it a point to not watch my competitors scores, as I like to just shoot my own game, but I followed the men and supported as best I could.

Soooo, I may not watch scores, but it is hard to ignore a Korean compounder tying the women’s World Record. A little background on how impressive this is, Christie Colin held this record for something like 13 years before Erika Jones broke it last year during World Championships by two points. It hasn’t even been a full year since that event and someone is already tying it, wow! I’m not going to lie, the fact that this was in the FIRST qualification round of the tournament, definitely had me a little worried. There was also some confusion on whether the women would be cut to 16 or 32 for the eliminations, so I went to bed that night concerned I might not even make the cut.

IMG_7124I had to shoot in the 3rd qualification group which was 7:45am…that’s 1:45 in the morning back home. After a night of virtually no sleep, I really had no idea how it was going to go. After getting my sight dialed in the first practice end, I went on a 30 run. I didn’t drop a point the rest of practice and hit a 30 my first scoring end. This was followed up with a 29, and I felt pretty good. Then, they decided to change my target face, which had lots of nice holes in the 10 ring to aim at, and I shot a 27 (9, 9, 9). I knew it was a long day, and I couldn’t let it get to me. I knew I could shoot 30s, as I had been all morning. I continued shooting only 29s and 30s the rest of the first half, but I ended with just a 292, in large part bc of that 27.

I closed the half with a 30 and opened the second half with 5 straight 30s, giving me 6 in a row, something I have never done (not even in practice!). I managed to not try too hard and just keep a nice relaxed shot and finished with a 297 for the second half, a new PR for a 300 round (my previous PR of 296 was set last year at the 3rd stage as well). This gave me a 600 round total of 589, one point shy of my goal of 590. This put me in 2nd place for qualification with one more session to go.IMG_7130

I followed closely the scores coming in for the 4th session, knowing there were many big hitters in the women’s field shooting at that time. I watched a couple people come close, but in the end, no one was able to match my score. This had me happy AND worried at the same time. Last year in Telford (the 3rd leg of the indoor circuit), I had gotten a PR and qualified second. However, in the first round of elimination I lost to the 31 seed when she came out firing on all cylinders. I had a couple hours to grab a nap before heading back for the matches that evening.


When we arrived for the elimination round, the first thing we noticed was a change in targets. Now we would be using the compound only 10 ring targets. In addition, we were in a different building from where I had shot qualification, with only 2 ends of practice, so I knew I needed to pay attention and make sure I got my sight dialed right away. The lighting was pretty dark above us (not targets), so seeing your bubble was going to be tricky (so glad I recently switched to a bigger level and one that is blue!).


My first match was a girl from Italy. I opened with a 30, and never backed down, taking the match by 6 points. Next up was a girl from South Africa. She opened with a 30 to my 29, but I didn’t worry. With 15 arrows in a match, I knew I just had to remain calm and odds were both our averages would start to show. This proved to be the case with us tied at 58 after 2 ends, and then I didn’t drop another point the rest of the match to finish 148-142. I now had just one match to win to secure a spot in the finals on Sunday. I was shooting against Danielle Wentzel (also from South Africa), who I had met at World Champs last year.

We were tied after the first end, but she went ahead by 1 after the second. I hoped to make that point up, but she didn’t give me the room, not dropping a single point in the final 3 ends. I couldn’t be upset bc I knew I had shot well, she had just shot better. I was disappointed I wouldn’t be moving on to a medal match, especially knowing I was shooting so well (my lowest match all day was a 146), but that is how things work sometimes. The good news was the US had 3 people going for bronze and 1 going for gold across all 4 senior categories, so I would at least have people to root for.

After all the scores came in, I realized I had again finished in 5th (meaning I had the highest score of everyone who got eliminated in the quarter finals), just like in Bangkok. Yes, I would have liked to place better, but this was the first tournament in a LONG time where I felt like everything came together with my shooting. In addition, 5th was good enough to keep me in 1st place overall for the indoor rankings. I’m hoping to keep the momentum from Nimes rolling into the Italian Challenge this weekend, followed by Vegas the following.



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