I’ve come a long way since my first Texas Shootout in 2013. It was my second ever outdoor tournament and it was WINDY!!! As I mentioned in this article, I was so afraid of missing the entire bail and losing my new expensive arrows that I kept missing my target and shooting my arrows in the girl shooting in the B position’s target (I was on A).
Then last year, Texas was my last tournament of the outdoor season, more than a month after any other tournament. I knew leading up to the tournament that I had already made both USAT and the World Cup team for the following year, so to say my motivation was lacking would be an understatement.
This year was very different from the past two. I went in with just enough time off from the Poland World Cup to feel rested, and I spent time making a few adjustments to my equipment to make sure I was ready for the final World Cup of the year, since I’d be heading straight to Colombia from Texas.
First half of qualification went pretty standard for me with a 345. I wasn’t happy with the score, but I wasn’t upset either. It was pretty calm, so I just kept hoping the wind would pick up in the second half. Unfortunately, neither the wind nor my shooting picked up for the next 36 arrows. Having just made a major draw length change, I felt the new muscles I was using getting tired, and I struggled. Somehow it didn’t matter because I had still managed to qualify in 2nd.
Usually I much prefer shooting more arrows at a time (more per end and more ends), but I was looking forward to only shooting 3 arrows at a time in eliminations, figuring that would help me avoid struggling later in the day with the longer draw length. I had some close matches, but I continued to win posting scores of 148, 144, 145, and a 146 to put me into the gold medal match.
I now got to face off against Dahlia Crook, who was having a great tournament. I love the one arrow at a time 20 second format, and I was happy to be shooting against her bc she shoots quickly too. That meant I didn’t have to wait long between shots like I do against someone who shoots a much slower shot. We opened up both tied with 29s, but I then grabbed the lead in the 2nd end and didn’t look back.
In the final end, I knew I just had to be smart and not doing anything stupid. After coming up just short so many times in my career, I knew the win was finally in my sights. I focused on my form but not trying too hard to shoot perfect. Just keep it in the yellow and you win, which I did. I finally got my first individual win on US soil!!!