By Scott Prater
Tim Paget battled through three rounds of intense competition to defend his title in the second annual Schriever Archery Competition Tuesday.
He faced his bow-hunting partner Andy Rowland in the final round at the Schriever Archery Range and much like last year’s competition, he needed a near-perfect shot to pull off a victory.
After Rowland missed the target low, Paget buried his arrow into a 10-inch square target from 65 yards out.
“The best thing about this competition is it emulates the pressure of the hunting experience,” Paget said. “You can come out and practice at the range as much as you want on your own, but you can’t create the pressure and anxiety that you feel when you’re hunting.”
Event organizer, Seth Cannello, agreed.
“Shooting targets when no one is around, well, I’m not going to say that’s easy,” he said. “But, when you’re competing and people are watching… its nerve wracking.”
In all, 16 competitors started the competition, including many of last year’s 12 competitors.
The competition was split into three rounds. In the first round, archers shot three arrows each at targets ranging from 10 to 40 yards. They earned points for every arrow that hit their intended target. The top eight archers then advanced to the second round.
The second round was organized in a knock-out format, which meant that each archer had to hit a called shot to stay in the competition. During this round, competitors chose to shoot from multiple distances at multiple targets. Archer Dave Duhe even called a shot from his knees, which knocked out a few competitors, including himself.
Monte Munoz, who was competing for the first time at Schriever, was knocked out late in the second round and ended up taking third place.
“I had a blast,” he said. “There are some amazing shooters out here. The top archers here taught us that we all need to expand our horizons as far as the types of shots we practice. They were kings of long-distance shooting and I think that was the difference for them. I’ve been shooting for about four years now and I practiced for this event, but nothing from more than 35 yards. To see the final two archers shooting more than 60 yards was inspiring.”
Paget and Rowland hit every called shot to qualify for the final round, a do-or-die face off against each other. It was Rowland’s chance to call and he briefly studied the landscape before deciding on something from more than 60 yards out.
“I was confident in my choice, but I made a mental mistake on my shot and Tim ended up drilling his,” Rowland said. “For the second year in a row, he made an excellent shot to win it.”
Cannello was pleased that this year’s competition drew a larger field and said it helps to highlight the base’s archery range.
The Schriever Archery Range is open to anyone who has access to the base. Contact the Schriever Fitness Center at 567-6628 for information on the archery range rules and hours of operation.