Looking Forward To The Unknown
Age: 13 years old
From: Elyria, OH
This year (2021) was going to be the first time I planned on shooting the entire IBO season. I was super excited for IBO Indoor World Championships because I thought I was still going to be in the Cub class which is ages 12 and under shooting up to 25 yards unknown and I was planning to finish on the podium, and maybe even win. But when I did my interview with the IBO president Brian Marcum in early January he said they changed the age range for the youth male classes because kids were shooting very high scores. So I had to move up to the new Youth Male Release 12-14 class which is a 35 yard unknown class which is a big difference for me, especially since at 20 yards and up I have to change my sight so I have to be within 2 or 3 yards with my judging or I could miss the target because of my low poundage and short draw length.
Going into the IBO Winter Nationals in North Carolina now knowing that I will be in the YMR 12-14 class I didn't put any pressure on myself to win since I am at the bottom of the age group and the smallest out there. On the drive into Sage Creek the driveway was up a big hill since it is on a mountain and it looked like when they put the dirt down they forgot to smooth it out because there were big bumps like motocross whoops. Friday was my practice day for the IBO Winter Nationals and I was practicing my judging on the Bowhunter Defense Range and I was doing good but on the 8th target I shot like 7 inches low so my dad told me to take another shot since he already ranged the target and knew what I had my sight set at. I took another shot and it was in the same spot so we knew something was wrong so we went to the practice bags and did some testing. Then we went to our truck and looked over my bow thoroughly. What happened was the set screw on my rest bracket backed out and pushed my blade crooked so in turn that made my arrows shoot low. After I retightened it I we went back to the bag targets and I was shooting correctly again which was good. After that I found some of my friends and talked to them for a little bit. On the way to the hotel my dad said it had a pool so I was very excited. But when we got there they said it was closed for COVID so that made me upset. I thought it was funny because they left the sign in our bathroom that said "Do not take room towels to the pool."
On Saturday we went to the bag range and warmed up, I planned on shooting at least 3 ranges for score today and the last one on Sunday. When I was put in a group we headed out and the courses were pretty hard. They were really steep up with up and down hill shots with logs and other stuff in the way of the targets which made it really hard to judge them. There was a group of women in front of us and they were being so loud and annoying and would not be quiet. They had four in their group and we only had three, but they were shooting really fast so they didn't stay close to us for long. On the first two ranges I scored a 79 and a 95 which I was not expecting since this was only my first time judging yardage since last year. I was shooting pretty good so I said screw it and shot the last 2 ranges since I was shooting good and the ranges were setup to shoot two at a time. The third and fourth ranges I shot were even harder than the first two ranges but I was still shooting pretty good so I was happy.
At the end of the weekend I finished off with a 331 which beat the goal me and my dad had set for me so that was very good. After talking to friends and other people they thought the course was super hard too. And they were telling me their scores and others scores and I was surprised I beat some. I ended up finishing 8th out of 12, which me and my dad were really excited about since we didn't know what to expect with moving up a class with longer yardage and being the youngest and smallest. I will be shooting every day now so I hope I can shoot better at IBO Spring Nationals in Kentucky, and I can't wait to see what I can do there.