Finally, A USA Archery event! It has been a long wait for a national archery event to be held. I was able to attend the Buckeye Classic this past weekend. It was a bit different than everyone is used to, but was still so much fun. Here is the journey I took.
On our way:My dad and I left Thief River Falls, MN at 4 PM. It was a 4 ½ hour from our house to our friend’s house near Duluth. We were staying at our friend’s house who we were car pooling with. We spent the night there and woke up around 4 AM and started our 14 hour trek. There was lots of laughs from the back seat, portable scrabble, and other car games. We had several gas station meals along the way, yum…. We arrived at the hotel around 7:30 PM and ordered in some calzones to finish off a long day.
Changes:This year a lot has changed, and that also applies to archery events too. Lots of rules had been set in place to keep everyone safe at the event. All parents, coaches, and supporters must stay behind the fence that allowed 6 feet distance between where the archers were and where the parents and coaches were. If anybody from either side of the fence went up to the fence you had to where a mask. Archers were not required to wear masks, but highly recommended.
Official Practice:Friday was official practice, however things did not go as planned. There were weather delays within the Masters and Seniors qualifications which changed when the Juniors and Cadets began. Because of other delays the Masters and Seniors last 2 ends had been cut. Another storm was rolling in, so we were told to look for updates on the USA Archery website. At 4:45 USA Archery announced we would have practice, so I unpacked my bow, got checked in and bow inspected, then went to go start practicing. I got to the line and it started pouring. I shot 2 arrows and then the wind picked up and the judges called the rest of the day. After the day was cancelled I decided it would be smart to put everything around the hotel room to dry. This day taught me to have patience and be accepting with what is going to happen or with the decisions that have been made. I am so thankful that I have Badlands Bowstrings. My peep did not twist and there was no string stretch even though my bow was soaked. Rain did not effect the performance of these strings.
Qualifications:I made sure that I was prepared for the rain, but that was not the condition that mother nature chose for the day. She chose very strong wind. I had to learn how to shoot in winds that I had never personally shot in. I widened my stance, got on my toes, tightened my core, pushed my bow to the target, and pulled against the wind with my shoulder blade for a strong shot. I also learned that it is best for me to draw when the wind is consistent rather than when the wind is gusting. I had to accept that my groups were going to get wider and that is okay. I was happy with how I shot for never shooting in winds like that: 571 1x; shot up a division to end the day in 17th place.
Eliminations:I was nervous coming into my match, which I am seeking a solution to. I ran my mental management system, however I still had those butterflies out of formation. I was working hard through my match and was 5 points down on my last end and pulled through with a 30 2x. I only lost by one point. The difference between the first 4 ends and the last was that the last one I only shot against myself and paid no attention to my competition. I knew that if I wanted a chance of winning, I needed to shoot for myself and only myself. I learned a lot on that match. I am very happy with how I shot and what I learned.
On the Road Again:The way home was once again full of laughs, more backseat scrabble, trying to get reactions from drivers who we passed, and watching movies. More gas station food was consumed…….. it was okay. For some reason I could not fall asleep, so it was a long night considering I had 4 ½ hours left after we stopped at our friend’s house. We got to our friend’s house at 3 AM. I fell asleep for a while, but Dad woke me up to keep him from falling asleep. Dad and I pulled in the driveway at 7:45 AM, right as my mom was headed to work. We had a great time though.
Recap:Despite the conditions over the weekend, I learned so much and had such a great time. Shooting with friends and meeting new people is awesome, and it feels so good to get back into a groove again. I am now training for Yankton in 2 weeks. Coach Lee and Penny, Archery Country, and Badlands Bowstrings have all been great to talk with on how to improve in windy conditions. For Yankton, Coach Penny is helping me mentally prepare, Coach Lee continues to help me improve my form fundamentals, Archery Strong is keeping me physically conditioned, and Archery Country and Badlands for giving me setup suggestions. I am looking forward to Yankton to apply what I have learned…
Young Archers of BowJunky Media: I had an awesome time meeting Jace and talking about archery and the Young Archers of BowJunky Media. If you have any questions regarding the page and how to start writing, feel free to get a hold of me or Jace. Jace and I will both be in Yankton, so you can also reach us there.