The first target was 45yds with not much of a cut… I set my sight and shot well for the first target. When we moved to the second target we all glassed it and got our number; I used archer’s mark for this challenge and just set my sight to the wrong mark because I glanced at the wrong column. The second target was a steeper cut and my sight was set about 9 yards hot. I made a decent shot and lost the arrow about halfway down the lane… I waited for my team to tell me where it hit and when it didn’t come I felt my stomach drop and knew I missed. After I got off the line and double checked my gear we found I had mis-set my sight. At that point I knew I had blown the challenge for my team and it was my place to go to the Nock Out round. I didn’t leave it open to discussion; I went to my team and straight up told them “I’m going to the elimination challenge and it’s what I want to do.” Some of my teammates tried to step up and go but I wouldn’t have felt right if I hadn’t gone.
It’s hard to tell on screen but during the challenges we dealt with weather — rain during the Highs and Lows challenge and wind during the elimination challenge. Steve and I both let down multiple times during our shoot off due to wind and at one point I asked for a bottle of water (huge props go to Steve for being fine with it). I shot a little different setup than I normally do; for the Nock Out Round I shot a .010 green pin and no lens; I normally shoot a 6x lens with a black dot. I much prefer shooting a lens and dot, but it’s not always the best option– for shooters getting into competition, practice with a pin setup for when the weather gets bad; it’s not always practical to shoot a lens (especially if you also use a clarifier) in bad weather or for certain venues.
When it came down to a single arrow closest-to-center shoot off, I knew I needed to make a perfect shot. I let down twice before I had a decent shot. Steve’s arrow was, for all intents and purposes, dead center; I was hoping to tie at best and force a second shot. In the end, at 25 yards in the wind I’m very happy with how things went and I wouldn’t have wanted it to go any other way. I went out swinging and had to fight the whole time. I’d much rather go out that way than blow right past another shooter and be the one staying. If I had the opportunity to go back and shoot against Steve again knowing what I was getting into, I might have brought my FITA setup and shot what I know inside and out, but I don’t think it would have gone any better.
Steve is an awesome competitor and an awesome guy; we both didn’t want to see the other go home and it was pretty emotional for the entire cast when the final arrow was shot.