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With one target in mind
Shawn Moore is seeing the rewards of competing in archery.
"One of my friends came (to the range), and he got me back into the sport," said Moore, a senior at the Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts.
That was two years ago. After learning the sport growing up, Moore has been taking part in many competitive tournaments in the past year and a half. Most recently, he was in the California State Outdoor 900 Tournament sanctioned by the California Bowmen Hunters/State Archery Association, an affiliate of the National Field Archery Association. Taking first place in the young adult male freestyle division, Moore scored 870 out of 900 possible points. But he will move up a higher division when he turns 18 this year.
Moore competes at CBH, SAA and National Field Archery Association tournaments, including the NFAA World Archery Festival and Championships in Las Vegas. In many of those tournaments, Moore has faced beginners to state, national and world champions. According to Steve Meyer, his coach, there are more than 100 tournaments held each year, outdoors and indoors.
Moore competes in archery league play at the Yuba Sutter Archery Association, which holds its sessions at the Allyn Scott Youth and Community Center in Marysville and is open to the public every Monday and Thursday from September to April. Moore also trains new shooters at the indoor archery range.
And when archery is the topic of discussion, equipment is in the limelight.
Using the academy's archery supplies when he returned, Moore began using a 2007 Diamond Compound Bow in outdoor competitions.
"It is a lot faster than my indoor one," Moore said. "It shoots my old arrows about 25-30 feet per second faster than my other bow when using the same arrows."
As he competed in more tournaments, Moore upgraded his gear.
"After I sold (the Diamond Compound), I got a 2005 Hoyt Pro Elite," explains Moore.
The elite has XT 3000 limbs with an original cam and a half.
"That is currently my indoor bow, and is the one I used at (the state finals)," Moore said.
In recent weeks, he purchased the Diamond's 2009 Ultra Elite, which Moore uses for outdoor competition.
""It has XT 3000 limbs as well, but with a cam and a half plus," said Moore of his newest set.
Is there a difference between using bows for indoor and outdoor competition? Moore explains.
"For outdoors, you typically want really thin carbon fiber arrows like the Easton navigator, or something similar to not only reduce wind drift, but also to reduce weight and to get a flatter trajectory for long and varied distances," he said. "For indoors, you want the exact opposite. For indoors, I use very thick and heavy aluminum arrows like the Easton Eclipse 2613s.
"The general rule in archery is that if an arrow touches the line, you get the higher score so when you are only shooting 20 yards indoors you don't have to worry about wind or anything else. Because of this I use as thick of arrows as I can get in order to split the line."
Distance from the line to targets is 15 feet for new shooters and 20 yards for advanced shooters. However, outdoor distances can reach 60 yards or more.
Targets are marked with 10 evenly spaced concentric rings that have score values from 1 through 10. In addition, there are an inner 10 rings that sometimes called the X-ring. This becomes the 10 ring at indoor compound competitions. For outdoor competition, it serves as a tiebreaker with the archer scoring the most number of Xs winning.
Scoring is very simple: A person can score 30 possible points per end — each round consists of 10 ends — using three arrows per end, shooting at 20 yards. The total possible score per round is 300 points. A bull's-eye determines tiebreakers; the closer to the middle of the target, the higher the points. Points range from seven to 10. A bulls eye scores as an X on the scorecard, a value of 10.
Finishing at the top of his class is always in Moore's head — no exceptions.
"When I am going to big competitions like Las Vegas or Redding, I keep on playing the scenario in my head of me receiving first," Moore said. "I am not saying that this is what I or anyone else should be doing. Seeing as many good coaches will most likely disagree with me for good reason. I have heard before that I am simply too young and stupid to know how to get nervous, or to know that I even should be.
"My mom has been seen freaking out a lot more than me at large competitions. I usually start reading a lot about form simply drilling the basics into my head. I noticed that I shoot much better under pressure, oddly enough. When I have incentive to shoot well, I focus on making each shot count and I need to bring that mentality to practice."
Meyer has been Moore's coach for the last two years and he has witnessed the development during that time.
"Shawn started at the basics like all the other kids," Meyer said. "He enjoyed it so much that he started studying everything he could get his hands on about archery."
Meyer said one of Moore's goals was to outscore him, and that he has done.
"I credit Shawn for his total dedication to the sport," said Meyer of Moore. "He never fails to show up for practice two days a week. The only time he has missed a practice is if he is at an archery tournament.
"I have seen Shawn go from a beginning archer to a bronze medalist in the world competition in Las Vegas."
Moore gives tips to anyone who has an interest in archery, but it's work ethic that he has mastered.
Meyer echoes, "Like we all know, to be good at something, it takes practice, practice, practice. That is exactly what Shawn does."