Mack S. April – You just shot and your score is the highest it’s ever been. You come to find out, you’re currently sitting in the top 5 of your division. You can’t wait to see that shiny medal draped around your neck at the awards ceremony. Everything is going great, you’re getting excited, and your family and friends are getting their cameras ready. That is until the last flight of the tournament.
Being in the top 5 is an exciting thing, no matter who you are. Your hard work is recognized, and being congratulated is an amazing feeling but unfortunately, the following flights can change everything. Even if you start in 5th or 3rd place, the results aren’t final until the end. It happens to everyone and it happened to me at the 2023 Kentucky State Tournament.
My flight for Bullseye was scheduled at 10 am and 3D for 3 pm. My mom had volunteered to be a line judge, and we were there simply to help out, take photos, and shoot when it was our flight. It was 7:30am when we arrived at the Louisville Expo Center, where the State Tournament was being held. My brother and I ran around taking photos of all the Meade county archers, our teammates, and later helped some of our coaches by getting arrows, grabbing them drinks, and doing small errands for them. While we were running around, I kept checking the clock to make sure we would be on time to get our bows ready.
Around 9 am, we headed to our staging area to get prepared and wait for the range to open to us. When we were finally heading to the bow racks, I was excited. My goal was to get a higher score, or at least the same as, my current personal best. I gave it my all and got a 285. I checked the NASP® app leaderboards, and in the Middle School Division for girl’s Bullseye I was in 5th-place. I was very excited and kind of proud of myself, but I didn’t know how long it would last considering there would be more flights until 5 pm. All I could do was wait. To help time fly I and my brother continued to take photos and help the coaches. And with my 3D flight right around the corner, I completely forgot about my standing.
As the last flight was ending, we were anxiously waiting to see the results. I soon found out I had unfortunately lost my place to another archer who earned it. I was disappointed, but overall happy. I thought of the bright side: my team placed 2nd for Bullseye in the entire state, and we had fun. I tried my best and worked hard. I may have not won a medal, but I DID get my new best score. I still have ample opportunity to work harder and practice more to achieve that shiny medal another day. And that day will eventually come for me and many others, including those that may be reading this, as long as we continue to strive for our best.
Mack S. is a 2023 student contributor.