Always a great way to start off the trip: waking up at 2 in the morning to get to the airport by 3:30 to catch a 5:30 flight.
It turned out to be a slow start, as we had a couple of weather delays. This meant that there was a good possibility that we would miss out connection flight in St. Louis, but luck turned out to be on our side as we all made it (there was about 7 of us going from Austin to Ohio, except no one really coordinated anything but there’s only so many flights from Austin to Ohio within a certain time frame.
We made it to Columbus Ohio around 11:30, and everyone was re-united with our bows. Oh yea, and our other luggage too, but the only thing we really cared about was our bows. There’s always that slight scare while flying that your bow doesn’t make it, because in several states, a bow is classified the same as a firearm and TSA doesn’t need a good reason to pull a bag from flying. Also with that flight delay, there was a chance that we would be leaving before the ground crew had the chance to transfer our luggage.
Going into this shoot, it was quite intimidating as I knew of many of the top shooters, and I knew where I stood. During the official practice, I was shooting with quite a few of the JDT or RDT team members. It was cool to talk with them though.
Qualifications was not the weather I had planned for. It was quite cold and windy, a weather condition that I had never shot in before. I didn’t have too high expectations for my score, but what disappointed me was my lack of endurance. By the last few ends, I was struggling to get through the clicker, and about 2 arrows every end, I had to shoot without the clicker because I was running out of time from letting down so many times.
Here is a quick list of some things I learned but is definitely not the full list:
This tournament was also the first time I ever shot eliminations. However, since my eliminations were on the same day as qualifications, I was very, very, very, tired and then there were some more weather delays. Needless to say, eliminations did not go well for me and I got out during my first match.
This tournament was my first ever USAT (US Archery Team) Qualifier series tournament. It was a very fun and valuable experience, and a wonderful tournament to cap out my first outdoor season. Not only that, but this was the cap to my first competitive year, and was my last shoot as a Cadet. Now it’s time to focus on school for a bit before indoor season starts!