Nationals: last chance to make the team
Let me start by saying if you haven’t read my post from yesterday, click here and read that first, as this is a continuation of my trip to Nationals.
Also, I think it would be helpful to give a quick overview of the schedule. Instead of shooting all 144 arrows in one day (partly bc of the sheer # of archers, over 700!), qualification rounds were split into two days. The men recurve & women compound would shoot Thursday morning and Friday afternoon, with the women recurve and men compound being opposite (afternoon day 1, morning day 2). Typically conditions get worse as the day goes on (wind, etc), so this is the best way to keep things as fair as possible.
R and I pulled in to the field early Thursday morning and was greeted by this sign (sorry it’s a little blurry). We would be shooting our long distance on day one (90/70M for R and 70/60M) for me. Warmup began and I felt pretty good. I didn’t have specific expectations in terms of my score, since all I had shot all year at qualifier events was 50M. I had been shooting a lot of 70M at home with R, so I was pretty confident when it came to that distance. Unfortunately, I had 2 (of my 6 ends) that weren’t too good. I wasn’t far behind the leaders, but I wasn’t right there either, do to a couple poor shots.
I was more nervous for 60M, knowing I hadn’t shot it as much AND that is the distance I struggled with most at the Ace Archer’s Outdoor Cup. I started well and continued to shoot good throughout this round. That is until the 4th end, when I circled the 10 ring, but didn’t have a single arrow drop inside. That pushed me way down in the rankings, and I had to battle back in the last two ends.
In the end, I finished at 60M, just 3 points out of 2nd, tied with a bunch of the top people. That put me sitting in around 11th for the day. I was ok with that, knowing I had blown my scores from the Outdoor Archer’s Cup out of the water (esp at 60), but I was still a little disappointed, knowing I could have done better.
I also learned that only qualification (days 1 & 2) counted as nationals, and therefore towards are national ranking positions. This also meant that I had 0 chance of making the national team for next year. I knew going in I had to WIN nationals to get the last spot, but I thought that was in the elimination round, just like every other tournament this year, not just qualification. At this point, I was too far back pointswise to have any chance of taking the overall win in qualifications, so I knew it was official.
Yes, this was tough to swallow, but I tried to remind myself how far I had come since December. Also, tomorrow was a new day, and I could at least focus on moving up in the rankings by shooting well. I also didn’t have time to wallow, as R and I headed to campus to check out all the changes at Xavier, visit some of our favorite professors, and of course make sure our bricks were still in the ground 🙂