Blue-and-gold Archers on Target with Striking State Championship Performance
While preparing for the USA Archery Collegiate 3D National Tournament later this month, Mississippi College’s archery team turned in a solid performance while hosting the Mississippi Collegiate State Championship Oct. 2 in Clinton’s Traceway Park.
The Blue and Gold archers battles raindrops and misty weather throughout the day to post three first-place and three second-place individual finishes in the championship.
John McDonald, head coach of MC’s archery squad, said the overcast conditions actually helped his team prepare for the all-important national competition.
“Because the woods are so dense on our range in Traceway Park, it’s hard to see the marks on dark-colored targets,” McDonald said. “Brighter conditions and more open ranges make it easier to see what you’re aiming for.
“The National Tournament will go on, rain or shine, as long as there’s no lightning. The last few years, we’ve been lucky, but this helps us prepare, no matter the weather.”
Dr. Jim Turcotte, vice president for enrollment services and executive director of alumni affairs, said he was impressed by the archers’ performances.
“We shot well, taking first place in almost every event, and nearly every archer placed in the top of the state tournament,” Turcotte said. “We are going into the national tournament in a strong position and we expect to have one of the top archery programs, both team and individual, in the country.
“Coach John McDonald continues to recruit and train some of the best collegiate archers in the nation.”
3D archery teams representing MC, Blue Mountain College and William Carey University participated in the state championship. MC archers shooting their way to first place in the competition included Abigail Veidmark in the women’s compound category, Reed Ricks in the men’s bowhunter division, and Emilia Miceli in the women’s bowhunter group. Second-place laurels went to MC archers Isakiel Griffin in the men’s bowhunter category, Kathryn Freeman in the women’s bowhunter division, and Lexie Harris in the women’s barebow group.
Other Blue and Gold archers who achieved notable results in the tournament included Anna Carraway (third place, women’s bowhunter), Amy Smart (third place, women’s compound), Ben Spears (third place, men’s compound), Jack Thomas Spears (third place, men’s bowhunter), and Ann Mabry Dean (fourth place, women’s bowhunter).
McDonald said participating in competitive tournaments helps his squad hone its skills for national competition.
“We practice daily the equivalent of shooting a tournament,” he said, “and the tournaments help us prepare for nationals. By shooting at different locations with archers other than just those on our team, we gain experience shooting in a tournament situation.”
McDonald said he expects his archers to be at or near the top of their game when they participate in the USA Archery Collegiate 3D National Tournament Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 14-17, in Foley, Alabama.
“I’m looking for some of our students to achieve personal bests at the upcoming tournament,” he said, “especially considering the team is so young this year.”