Rocky Mountain State Games – 2017

We returned to the Rocky Mountain State Games. This year, we are one year wiser with a few more outdoor tournaments under our belt: less confusion about the tournament format, our canopy, the event duration, and generally what to expect during the shoot. For July, the weather was exceptionally accommodating. Lots of clouds and a cooling breeze.

Memorial Park is a great facility – real grass and a lot of open space. The organizers ran out of bales and registration was capped. You can see more than 35 bales here and a new bubble roof over the velodrome. With the mountain backdrop, the venue offers up fantastic cloudscapes. The format was the same as last year: thirty arrows at thirty yards, thirty arrows at twenty yards, and thirty arrows at ten yards. This is the distance for her age band which is determined by her age the day of the shoot. This will change next year with longer distances for her age band.

As a tween, she’s starting to take responsibility for her gear; however, this is a decent road trip from our house and the early morning start had us both running around. She forgot her ball cap so she borrowed mine. A good lesson in getting ready the night before. Because there are so many shooting categories, the foursome on this bale included the recurve young ladies and some compound young men. Of course, as the distances got closer, the groupings around yellow got crowded.

Without being able to check the scorecards for all the nearby shooters, it’s hard to know the specific category of each participant on the line.  I wasn’t really sure who she was shooting against.  She found her own cadence and for the most part ran by her self for the whole shoot.  For reasons I don’t understand, there is mixed support for the State Games from the JOAD coaches.  Maybe it’s a conflict with other shooting events, maybe it’s not focused on the youth as much.  As such, I can only provide a little commentary on her shot sequence and mostly encourage her to slow down, mimicking her real coach.

There’s no practice ends for when the targets move closer.  As such, it was good we had cataloged her site settings during our last long session at the practice range.  It’s also great that the event speeds up as the distances shrink.  I think the longest distance clocked nearly two hours for thirty arrows.

At the end of the day, compared to last year:

  • Distance 30: slightly better (218 compared to 210)
  • Distance 20: better (267 compared to 250)
  • Distance 10: same score as last year (282 compared to 282)

She won her second gold medal at the Rocky Mountain State Games

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Returning to the Range

A month ago, the younger one had withdrawn from the shoot.  We returned to practice this weekend at our outdoor range.  She proclaimed she was so excited to be able to shoot again.  And overall it went really well.  She was appropriately distracted by various bugs and a fearless little bird she named “Tinee”, but she completed more ends than I expected.  We were out there for almost four hours because the older one was getting ready for her second state games.

We worked on form, as every archer does during every practice, or at least that is what every practice has been for these kiddos.  Maybe Mackenzie Brown gets to do something else with her practice time at this point.

Understandably, her form was a little rough.  I decided to use Hudl Technique with her.  I was hoping to slow things down so I could see it.  I’ve used Hudl with the older one and I also wanted to make sure the younger one knew she was special too.

It was easy to see at 1/4 speed even if it is hard to see your iDevice with full sun.  I shared it with her and she felt like she could keep her bow arm extended and work on her draw arm elbow.

Meanwhile the older one was getting her site ready for 30-20-10 distances that the next tournament uses.  She was doing her sport and I didn’t have to pay too much attention other than recording her site positions.

Having a camera helps, but we also record them in her archery journal so that when we get to a tournament, we have backups.

She really likes this Shibuya site.  There are more expensive models, but this one works for her.  Since she started using it, we are both seeing more of them around, probably some sort of cognitive bias.   At Salt Lake, Steve Anderson spoke to the archers at breakfast.  Later, we saw he was shooting a Shibuya too.

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There summer is winding down.  School starts again in a few weeks.  That means the outdoor season is winding down and the indoor season will be ramping up (with a lot of overlap).  I think the Byrds sing a song about this.

Outdoor 30 er 15, Younger Edition

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The younger one wanted to sign up for the outdoor shoot.  The USAT style shoot has no category younger than Bowman.  As a Yeoman, there’s not really a division for her.  The Director of the Shoot decided to create a loophole.  Younger shooters could shoot a 15M target, but they would be doing it outside of the normal competition.  We had practiced 20M at our practice range and I thought it would work out.

It didn’t work out.

She didn’t want to be there and her head down photo above is only a snapshot of her attitude.  After the warm up practice rounds, she withdrew.  Archery and other things may be on hold for this one.  It was a frustrating day.

Outdoor 30, El Dos

The second round of the five part buckle shoot was scheduled over the Fourth of July weekend.  I would guess about half the number of participants as the Father’s Day buckle shoot.  It was a strange distribution of shooters.  Her mentor (pictured above) was the only Junior Female Recurve, meanwhile the Barebow division was full of all ages of shooters.  In her own division, there were the same number of kids as last time.

The other two photos are taken from a former teammate, Sara Martin.  In a time when everyone has a great 10 yard camera on their phone, Sara brings another perspective with a long lens SLR.

Conditions were the same, hot and windy.  She decided to wear her dress from Furry Feline Creatives.  I’m fairly confident she’ll never encounter another archer with the same outfit.

She stayed strong throughout the shoot and had enough energy during the elimination rounds.  She came up short against her principal rival and captured a second place podium finish.

Outdoor 30

First outdoor tournament of the year for the older one.  She is a “bowmen” class and that means she really can’t compete in the big national tournaments that have Cadet and Junior programs only.  Technically, she can shoot in those older age divisions, but the shooting distance starts at 60 and you have to pull a pretty big bow to shoot that distance.  Locally, one (or maybe two) of the JOAD clubs has set up an outdoor series.  This includes shorter distances for the younger divisions, including 30 for bowmen.

Like all archery events we have attended outdoors, you have to deal with the sun and the wind.  This was no different.  Our car thermometer said it was 101.  She had ramped down lessons over the last month, so this was her first event in at least a month.  She shot outside at the park and she got reps in on the side yard.  She used her new Easton outdoor arrows.  She ended up in third place.

Bowmen Year End

So many things for this archery season.  She added a sight.  She added a stabilizer.  She got a new, heavier poundage bow.  She got a new plunger.  She went out of state.  She shot 40cm.  She made an archery-BFF.  She got outdoor arrows.  She got a new practice bow.  She is rebuilding her shot sequence.  She survived some friends leaving her team.  She got a new mentor.  She trained with and survived her sister.  She started shooting with her mom.  She fought with and then made up with her dad.

She has worked on her form since SLC, but early in the tournament, her fast shot returned.  She fought it some and went with it on other ends.  She improved over SLC, but didn’t reach some of the scores from early in the season.

Overall, the season isn’t easy to chart.  With her equipment changes and target size changes, it’s not easy to compare scores from 40cm to 60cm.

It was a year of some podium finishes, some off days, a lot of practice, a lot of work, a lot of stress, and a lot of growth.  She has more of the same in front of her for several years in and out of archery.  Keep at it kiddo.

Her third place finish!

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Yeoman Year End

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The last indoor tournament of the season was at our home range.  Little one is shooting all the way to the right.  She’s been shooting better and better during practice.  If she could convince her growing mind to stay focused, it would probably be a good tournament.

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Her form is getting better.  She’s not arching her back to get to full draw (as much) and she’s doing better with vertical hold on her bow.  Her feet find a slightly different stance nearly every end of shooting, but she’s getting the hang of it.  In the end, she did really well, scoring her best 600 arrow score.  It was good enough for second place, including 16 yellows (nine or ten score).

This is her first season.  She’s enjoyed getting a new bow, then switching to her dominant left eye and getting another new bow (at least to her).  Over three tournaments, she’s been doing a great job of making improvements.

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Her scores for a 30 end round since December

Her points per arrow have been rising too.

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Her main competitor is shooting just about eight points per arrow, but she is at the upper end of the age bracket.