Arnesen eager to lead Flames back to 3D USIAC nationals
October 10, 2013 | Columbia, Mo.
Liberty University first-year archery coach Drew Arnesen had plenty of time Thursday to discuss shooting technique and equipment with the four team members as he shuttled them to the University of Missouri for this weekend's 3D United States Intercollegiate Archery Championships in Columbia, Mo.
The 13-hour road trip also gave them an opportunity to recalibrate for the event, where they are aiming to repeat their success from last fall.
Ian Rigney, a sophomore from Gretna, Va., won the individual men's compound division last year and teamed with Robert Castello and 2011 individual champion Alex Blake to capture the men's team compound title.
Rigney is returning to nationals along with fellow sophomore Hunter Jacobs and senior Marissa Scalzo. They are joined by sophomore newcomer Mike Dunn.
Rigney, in particular, has helped the rest of the Flames raise their sights for the season.
"He's unaffected by pressure," Arnesen said. "If you watch him shoot on a regular basis, whatever's on the line, he's cold-blooded. When someone's that good, it just pushes everyone up a rung to come up to that level."
This weekend's tournament is expected to draw approximately 20 teams from around the country, with individual men's and women's national champions in each division (bowhunter, compound, and recurve) receiving $500 scholarships.
A total of 40 3D targets will be set up each day, with an unmarked yardage event on Saturday and a marked yardage competition on Sunday, both starting at 10 a.m.
"In the unmarked yardage, the archers don't know the distances of the targets, so it takes a lot of experience (to know how much power to pull with) without the luxury of a range-finder," Arnesen said. "In the marked yardage competition, the yardage is known to them so that really tests their ability to maintain accuracy."
Competitors will be awarded 11 points for shooting a bull's-eye, 10 for striking the second ring, and five for hitting anywhere else on each target.
Arnesen never competed while he was a student at Liberty but has learned about the sport through his business (he is a salesman for Quality Archery Design in Madison Heights) and in open tournaments. The former hall mate of Liberty men's lacrosse coach Kyle McQuillan (who told him about the opening) is looking forward to coaching the Flames.
"I love being around the sport of archery in general," Arnesen said. "To have the opportunity to be involved with it as a full-time job and to coach a collegiate team on the side, what's not to love?"
"I have the luxury of coming into a team that has some veterans of the sport and of this competition," he added. "That helps me out. They know the drill. They're prepared to do well at this competition, and hopefully win some medals (for top-three finishes)."