working my way up (or down)
Now that I have had a couple of days to process things and reflect on this weekend’s results, I can honestly say I am happy with how things went. Could they have gone better? Sure, but you can always do better.
As I previously mentioned, this past weekend was the US National Indoor Championship event for the eastern region. R and I were shooting the 5pm fri and sat night lines, so we would be among the first people “done.”
So I’m sure you are waiting to here how things went. Well, first I want to give a big shootout to USA Archery and everyone involved in organizing the event. I thought it was very well run and the new location was fantastic. The lighting was good, there was plenty of room for spectators, and overall it just had the look and feel of a championship event.
Friday night I had a good start, and I was picking up steam in the middle of the round. Then I had an unfortunate event occur, where the person shooting on the target next to me missed their target and hit mine instead. As luck (or lack thereof) would have it, her arrow actually pushed my arrow out into the 8 ring. I was mad and upset and frustrated all at the same time. I told myself not to worry about it, but I obviously let it get to my head bc the next four ends I only shot a 27 (the lowest I had shot all night!). At this point I got mad. I had one end left for the night and I really didn’t want to end up with a 562 (just one point higher than I had the weekend before at my disaster, the cupid classic). Luckily my anger must have paid off because in the final end of the night I shot a perfect 30!
This left me with a score I could live with (565), though I was disappointed that I hadn’t done better. I knew I still had another day to shoot, so I tried to push my negative thoughts aside, so I could focus on shooting better the next day. This wasn’t too hard to do with R shooting a personal best by 16 points! I was so excited he had shot well, and that definitely helped me stay positive.
Saturday came, and it was time to shoot another 60 arrows to finish out the tournament. We began with two ends of practice, and unlike the previous day where my arrows hit dead center on virtually all of my practice shots, my arrows were all over the place. I tried to make adjustments to my sight, but my arrows seemed to be hitting all over the place. In particular the top target was giving me fits. I tried to stay calm and just trust my shot. Unfortunately I started with a 28 and 27 for the first two ends. Starting at such a deficit, I knew I would have to battle back to avoid a nightmare.
I managed to get things to be ok…I didn’t feel like my shots were necessarily going where I thought, but I was getting lucky and at least some where still hitting the line. At the half way point, I was catching up to my score from the day before, and I knew I could still break it with as bad as I had shot at the end on Friday. As I finished out the second half, I just couldn’t get consistent, though. I would shoot a 30, and then the next end a 27. I was upset, but I knew I just had to get through the rest of the tournament. In the end I finished with a 563, just two points below the day before, but with a lot of disappointment. In the end it wasn’t my score that upset me, it was the fact that I knew I could shoot better than I had.
Now it just became a waiting game to see where I would end up. I knew first was now out of the question for my location, as a Matthews pro staff shooter (also a member of the national team) was ahead of me and without a complete collapse on her part, she couldn’t fall below me. The question was would the people who were below me by just a couple of points after day one, have a better second day and pass me in the rankings.
Once all the results were in, I realized I had gotten VERY lucky. One of the girls that had made the final at Lancaster, shot well enough on her second day to tie my score. However, I had more 10s then her, so I won on the tie break, giving me second place for the eastern region. After checking all the results for this first weekend nationally, I sit in 3rd place behind two national team members. I realized that’s not too bad a place to be in after being in the sport just a couple of months. I now get to wait and see how far down I drop after the 2nd and 3rd weekend are complete…my hope is I’m able to stay in the top 10, but only time will tell.