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    March 1, 2022 Harrisonburg, Va. RSS |

    Liberty University’s archery team showcased its accuracy indoors with eight top-five finishes at the USA Archery East Coast Regional Indoor Championships held Friday through Sunday at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va.

    “It was a lot larger turnout than last year’s event, when COVID-19 limited the number of archers,” Head Coach Jason Lynch said, noting that participating archers came from as far South as Georgia and North as Pennsylvania. “Some guys shot their personal bests, which was great to see. This was the last competition for some of our seniors, which was bittersweet.”

    Lady Flames freshman Kayla Cassady finished in first place out of five competitors in the East Coast Region and fifth nationally, compared to archers from the other 12 regional shoots across the United States, in the women’s collegiate barebow division. Her four-round totals of 236-211-224-231 gave her a final score of 902 that was 225 points higher than the second-place shooter.

    “Kayla came in first by a long shot,” Lynch said. “She’s doing great in her first year and she really impressed with her performance over the weekend.”

    Fellow Liberty freshman Lily Coddington placed third in that event regionally with a combined score of 563.

    Graduate Louis Boyd, competing in his last event for the Flames, finished first regionally in the compound senior men’s division and second in the collegiate men’s division with rounds of 287, 291, 289, and 292 for a total of 1,159. Meanwhile, sophomore Joel Barkley placed seventh among compound collegiate men and 11th in the senior men’s division with his total of 1,109.

    Sophomore Lilah Hartman tied for first regionally in the women’s collegiate compound event, firing rounds of 282-279-285-286 to match the 1131-point total of JMU competitor Caroline McCracken. Coincidentally, both archers shot exactly 52 bullseyes and 47 nine-point arrows.

    Senior Blakely Logsdon, also potentially competing for the final time for the Lady Flames, finished in second place out of 12 contestants in the regional women’s collegiate fixed pins event with scores of 260-258-272-271 for a 1,061 total. That was 20 points higher than fellow Lady Flames senior Jessica Welty, who placed fifth with her 1,041 total.

    Freshman Samuel Deel posted a third-place regional showing in the collegiate men’s recurve, shooting consistent rounds of 251-251-253-252 for a 1,007-point total.

    Lady Flames sophomore Natasha Leininger came in fifth place regionally in the women’s collegiate recurve event, shooting 230-248-243-240 for a 961-point total, which tied her with Pittsburgh’s Taylor Ballenger. Both hit the 10-point bullseye 17 times but Ballenger had more 9-point shots (40-32) to break the tie.

    Harry Rogish had a 13th-place finish in collegiate men compound with 1,031 points while fellow Flames sophomore Justin Lynn came in 13th in the collegiate men’s fixed pins event with a 1,112-point total. Lynn was followed closely by Liberty freshman Bryson Farmer (14th, 1,094) and senior Matthew Hale (18th, 1,046).

    Complete results are available online.

    “Most of the team doesn’t have much field archery experience (but) we look forward to start practicing for outdoor nationals in the next week or two and fielding a good team for that as well,” Lynch said of that USA Archery competition set for late April, when the graduating seniors could get one final shot.

    By Ted Allen/Staff Writer