Flames, Lady Flames place 11 of 13 archers in top eight at first indoor tournament in Pa.
Lady Flames freshman Kayla Cassady finished second in the women’s barebow and was the only member of Liberty University’s archery team to land on the podium at Sunday’s Easton Youth & Collegiate Trophy Tournament, an indoor event held in Manheim, Pa., near Lancaster.
Head Coach Jason Lynch, who took the helm of the program from Ben Summers at the start of the spring semester, brought 13 members of the travel team and all but two placed in the top seven in their respective divisions.
“It was a pretty big competition, with probably close to 200 collegiate competitors and a handful of teams from the East Coast division,” Lynch said. “We covered every class and had three archers in women’s bowhunter and two in men’s compound.”
Senior Blakely Logsdon placed fourth in women bowhunter followed by junior Grace Wahl in fifth and senior Jessica Welty in seventh. Meanwhile, junior Natasha Leininger came in fourth place in women’s recurve, sophomore Lilah Hartman placed fourth in women’s compound, and graduate Louis Boyd tied for fourth in men’s compound.
Freshman Lily Coddington finished fifth in women’s barebow and senior Matthew Hale took fifth in men’s barebow while sophomore Justin Lynn placed seventh in men’s bowhunter and freshman Samuel Deel was seventh in men’s recurve. Complete results are available online.
“We had one of the biggest teams there, and we had a good showing,” Lynch said. “We got to go out and shoot strong, and it was a really good learning experience for some of the younger shooters coming up to see how large the world of archery is and to enter their first collegiate competition.”
He said Sunday’s competition also went a long way toward calming the nerves of his young archers.
“It helped to get people used to the pace of competition and being in a large venue with a lot of people shooting at the same time,” Lynch said
Late in the fall semester, Liberty’s archery program moved its indoor operations into the former Liberty Mountain Skate Park, which has been converted into indoor shooting ranges for the archery and rifle teams as well as training space for the men’s and women’s taekwondo teams.
“That is a great asset to train the team for indoor competition,” Lynch said. “It offers a similar type of environment, with the same type of timers and targets used in competition, so it is a good way to get people used to that.”
The Flames and Lady Flames have three and a half weeks to prepare for their next competition, the United States Collegiate Archery (USCA) Indoor Regional Championships in Harrisonburg, Va., from Feb. 25-27. Liberty will finalize its travel rosters for that event in practices this week.
“There are about a dozen different regional events nationwide and the scores will be combined to determine the national place-winners,” said Lynch, who has his team’s sights set on fine-tuning their forms and strengthening their endurance. “We are trying to keep people shooting higher arrow counts, to keep them in shape to be strong through a long day of shooting.”
By Ted Allen/Staff Writer; Video by Patrick Strawn/Club Sports Director of Video & Media