Flames Archery Places Middle of the Pack in Nationals

The Liberty University archery team battled through heavy rainfall and tough conditions as it earned 14th overall among 32 different teams that competed in the USA Archery 3D National Championships from Oct. 5 to Oct. 8 in Foley, Alabama. 

Overall, the Flames left the South tied for the 14th spot with Kentucky Christian University, accumulating a total of 10 points. As for the winners, University of Cumberlands stole the show with a total 226 points to win their sixth consecutive title. The runner up was the University of Pikeville squad, who scored half as many points as Cumberlands (113). Taking the bronze medal was Lindsey Wilson, who finished with a total of 109 points.

Liberty’s archers, as well as the other schools, had to fight through slightly more than four inches of rainfall throughout the four days of the competition, most of which fell during the first two days. 

Jason Lynch, in his second year as the head coach of the Liberty archery team, expressed how the mix of harsh natural conditions and a skilled competition combined to create such a challenge.

“It was a tough competition this year,” Lynch told Club Sports media following the tournament. “Our men’s bowhunter team made it to the bracket, but got eliminated first round for an eighth place finish.”

Despite a mediocre collective finish, there were some very significant individual efforts from the Flames, the highlight being Kayla Cassidy’s silver medal in the women’s barebow competition.

Cassidy, a junior from Las Vegas, Nevada, scored a 164 in her first round and a 179 in her second round, resulting in a total score of 371, which was only bested by University of Pikeville’s Maggie Brensinger, who scored a total of 374, only three more than Cassidy.

Nathan Wilkins and Steven Loomans were two more names that shined brightly through the rain for Flames archery. Wilkins, a sophomore, was able to finish in the top 33% of the men’s fixed-pin competition, placing 24th out of 72 with his score of 402. Loomans, a junior, went on to score a 392, which earned him the 29th place out of the 72. 

Senior Justin Lynn came in at 37th with his score of 381. In the women’s fixed-pin competition, Grace Wahl, a senior, scored a 368 to place 30th out of the 71 women that competed.

Now that nationals have wrapped up, Flames archery is set to return in late February, the 23-25, for the 55th UDA Indoor National Championship, which will take place not far from home in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

Gallo is a sports reporter for the Liberty Champion

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