Archers set sights on USCA 3D National Championships in Ill.
October 3, 2017 | Lynchburg, Va.
After competing in local shoots near Altavista, Va., and Bedford, Va., in September, members of Liberty University's men's and women's archery teams will travel to Carrier Mills, Ill., the United States Collegiate Archery (USCA) 3D National Championships, hosted Friday through Sunday by Southeastern Illinois College at the Norfolk Archery Club outdoor range.
"This will be our first collegiate event, but they're all shooting great right now in practice and we've had some great competitions at these local shoots so we're ready for it," said Flames first-year Head Coach Ian Rigney, who was a part of four of Liberty's eight USCA national titles, including two individual and one team crown at 3D outdoor events.
At Altavista, Liberty had one first-place finisher (senior Courtney Cooper in the women's bowhunter division) and one fourth-place performer (senior Susanna Martin fourth in recurve).
In Bedford, junior Emily Mullins won the women's bowhunter competition, senior Spencer Foster placed first in men's bowhunter, and freshman Luke Tabor took the co-ed recurve traditional title while Martin placed second in co-ed recurve, Cooper claimed third place in women's bowhunter, and Caitlin Campbell came in third in recurve competing on a co-ed team with Tabor and Martin.
Liberty will arrive in time for Friday's official practice day before individual rounds take place on Saturday with archers shooting at 20 targets of unknown distances and later 20 targets of known distances. Sunday will be reserved for team competition.
"We're taking a men's barebow team, a women's barebow team, a men's bowhunter team, and a mixed barebow team and a mixed bowhunter team," said Rigney, who was a part of the last team competition the Flames won, in men's compound in 2012.
Some of the favorites in the field of approximately 25 schools include three of Liberty's Mid-Region opponents — University of the Cumberlands (Kentucky), Union (Tenn.) College, and Kentucky Christian.
Foster and fellow senior Jason Lynch both have competed on this course before and will be strong contenders for national titles in a field of approximately 50 men's bowhunters.
"They've got a feel for it, so they know what to expect and are getting their new teammates ready for what to expect," Rigney said, noting that Martin has an excellent chance to win the women's barebow division and junior Emily Mullins has a shot at the women's bowhunter title along with Catherine Agnew and senior Gwyneth Meyer.