Rigney eyes third straight 3-D compound title this weekend
October 1, 2014 | Lynchburg, Va.
On Thursday morning, six members of Liberty University's archery team, including junior two-time-defending national compound champion Ian Rigney, will embark on a 13-hour drive to Columbia, Mo., to compete in Saturday's and Sunday's 3-D U.S. Intercollegiate Archery Championships.
A total of 27 schools and well over 200 archers competed at last year's event.
In mid-September, Mitch Reno, who works as a customer service representative for Quality Archery Designs (QAD) in Madison Heights, took over the head coaching responsibilities from co-worker and fellow Liberty alumnus Drew Arneson, who relocated over the summer.
"I love coaching and enjoy archery and the whole field of the industry," said Reno, a Sport Management major who formerly coached boys and girls basketball at nearby Temple Christian School. "The team has had a ton of success in the past, as far as winning awards, so I want to keep adding to the past winning and move forward. We're trying to grow the team and grow the sport on campus."
Besides Rigney, who's from nearby Gretna, Va., and senior compound competitor Hunter Jacobs, from Moneta, Va., near Smith Mountain Lake, the Flames return seniors Chris Britton and Sam Hatcher and have picked up freshmen Zach King and Jason Lynch, who each compete in the hunter class.
"Ian is a three-time place winner and two-time champion at national tournaments and Hunter has been right there the two times he's gone, finishing in the top 15 overall," Reno said. "They're the ones who have been there and done it before. The others are fairly new, including two who have never done it before. They have come a long way and are learning a lot about the ins and outs of competition."
The Lady Flames return Evelyn Estes, who competed at 3-D nationals last year, and have added Liz Lariviere to the women's team, but they won't be making the trip to Missouri.
"The goal is to add more archers so we could do more of the team shooting events," Reno said. "Right now, we're competing strictly as individuals. We have four archers in the men's hunter class, but need one more in the compound class to be in competition for the national title as a team."
In 3-D archery tournaments, contestants shoot in real-life scenarios at replicas of animals they would see in the wild.
"On the first day, they will shoot from unmarked spots, where they have to guess the yardage," Reno said, noting most of the targets are around 30 to 40 yards and shooters aim for four points areas on the body of the animal. "We've practiced at multiple locations, shooting at two or three different places to keep them guessing."
On Sunday, competitors will shoot same course, but from specified yardages.
"Typically on that day, the better shooters will score higher," Reno said.
In the spring semester, Reno anticipates taking the team to a shoot hosted by James Madison University and another in Lancaster, Pa.