Returning to the Buckeye State
Returning to the Buckeye State

Returning to the Buckeye State

I was born and raised in Ohio, went to college in Ohio, and I am a HUGE Ohio State Buckeye fan, so any chance I get to return to my homeland, makes me happy (especially when Graeters is involved!) This year the 4th and final USAT of the year was moved from Texas to Dublin, Ohio (just outside of Columbus).

One thing I was not prepared for, however, was the heat and humidity! I had checked the forecast in advance and the hottest it was predicted to be was around 86 or 87, so I didn’t bother bringing my cooling vest with me, figuring I didn’t need it. Boy was I wrong! It ended up being in the mid 90s, full sun and high humidity on practice day clear through elimination day. I stuck to my plan of not shooting a ton of arrows during official practice, but I didn’t get out of the heat as early as I would have liked.


Saturday was qualification day, and because the turnout was better than expected, the field was split between a morning and an afternoon line. The men’s compound and women’s recurve shot in the am (it was 72 degrees when they started!), and the compound women and recurve men shot in the afternoon (94 degrees at the start). I used the morning off to my advantage, getting caught up on some work from the day before.


We were given 3 ends of official practice before jumping into scoring. I opened with a 55, whoops! I had made good shots, but I had surrounded the 10 ring, not paying enough attention to the wind. It wasn’t a really strong wind, but it was a shifty wind that could easily take a 10 and make it a 9 if you weren’t careful in watching the wind flags. The rest of the day, I felt like I just wasn’t there 100% mentally. I made some good shots, but I also just got lazy on some others. Even though this wasn’t a “goal” tournament for me, I was still disappointed in myself for not truly giving it 100%. I ended up qualifying 1 point off of first, which I knew I didn’t deserve.


Eliminations began the next morning for everyone in all divisions. My first match I opened with a pair of 30s before I got a little lazy, finishing with a 147. I knew it was a good score, but I knew I could have shot a 150 if I would have put my mind to it. Each match after that it seemed I had someone who put up a great fight, never giving me breathing room. I managed to shoot nothing below a 146, winning each one through the semi finals. This meant I would be shooting for gold!


I was pretty excited because this would be my first medal match at a USAT all year. I’ve shot consistently good scores all year in elimination matches (highest arrow average for my division over the course of the season), but I haven’t been able to get the Ws when I needed to. Because the compound women were so much ahead of schedule from everyone else, this meant we had to sit and wait for everyone else to finish. The bronze medal match got to shoot right away, with Jamie coming away with 3rd for the event (Brogan finished in 4th), but Erika and I had to wait for the field to be reset for alternate scoring.

Luckily, we got 2 ends to warmup prior to jumping into our match. I struggled to find my rhythm during my practice ends, and I was shooting mostly 9s and even a few 8s. I felt like I really had found “my shot” that morning, so I was a little frustrated that I seemed to have lost it. I tried to mentally regroup and just focus on the parts of my shots I knew I needed to go through. I stepped into the match feeling confident. However, my arrows just didn’t seem to want to go where I expected during the match. I’d make a good shot, which broke in the middle and it would be a 9, then I would make a good shot that broke 8/9 liner and it would be a 10! I tried moving my sight, but I just couldn’t seem to get it figured out in time and lost 146/144.


In the end, I had some good takeaways from the event. It was obvious to me that my equipment is in great shape. I’m able to have an off day and still put up scores I previously would have only seen on a day when I was shooting at my best. I know that when I am 100% committed mentally, I can shoot Xs and 10s every arrow. After some much needed time off after Nationals, I didn’t shoot as much leading into this event as others. That makes me really excited for World Cup Finals, since I’ve planned my training around peaking there. I also got to see some friends who haven’t been at many events this year, who usually don’t shoot outdoors, or have since “retired” from the sport. Not all were shooting, but it was nice to see them on an archery field!


I know I am not alone when I say what a great tournament this was all around. I heard many archers discussing how nice it was to have a tournament (in its first year nonetheless) that was so well run. A lightning delay was handled properly; everyone’s safety was kept in mind, plus an effort was made to guess the length of the delay (which ended up spot on!). In addition, the fields were very nice, with plenty of space for competitors and spectators alike. Volunteers seemed truly happy to be there and help in any way they could. In addition, I think we all agreed it was a great location. Many could drive there, the hotel/field were only 20 mins from the airport, and there were more than enough hotel and food options for any price range or food preference. Also they gave out quality medals for everyone who finished on the podium. All around this tournament felt like a home run, and I hope everyone who was there thanked those in charge for such a great event!


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