Recently the Easton Newberry Sports Complex held the World Team Trials for USA Archery. This event was well attended by the best archers across the country all vying for one of the three precious spots to represent the USA at the World Championships in 2014 in France.
One of the big stories to come out of the event was two young local archers, Meghan Collins (age 14) and Ryan Oliver (age 14). Ryan finished 3rd in the U20 (or Junior category) team and Meghan finished an amazing 1st place in the open women’s division. Both finished the trials placing well above their usual finish and were rewarded with making the US team.
The young archers took some time out of their busy training schedule to talk about the event and their hopes for the World Championships in February.
Coach Turner) How old are you?
Ryan Oliver) 14
Meghan Collins) 14
Coach) How long have you been involved in archery?
Ryan) 4 years
Meghan) 1 year in the Olympic Archery in Schools (OAS) program and 2 years at Easton Newberry Sports Complex
Coach) Where did you first start your archery career? Was it fun and why did you like it?
Ryan) I started shooting when the Easton complex first opened in 2009 and I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and was the first kid to sign up for classes there. I immediately fell in love with shooting and thought it was fun and challenging.
Meghan) I started it at my school’s OAS program. It was so much fun because of the mental part of it and the competition, I like to compete.
Coach) Why do you like archery?
Ryan) I like archery because it is a fun, challenging sport and I love traveling around the country representing the United States as a part of the Junior Dream Team and the US Archery Team.
Meghan) I enjoy shooting because it’s a very mental sport, it takes a lot of focus. You have to shut everything out except for you and the arrow when you’re on the shooting line.
Coach) Has the Easton Foundation affected your shooting career? If so how?
Ryan) Easton Foundations gave me the opportunity to learn archery through the Easton Newberry Sports Complex (ENSC) and later gave a grant to our JOAD Club (Newberry JOAD) to help set up another local practice range.
Meghan) Yes, I train at one of the centers almost every day. I wouldn’t be anywhere close to where I am today if it wasn’t for the facility, the classes it offers and coaches it provides. There’s no way we could get the kind of coaching I get if it weren’t for ENSC.
Coach) What are the big titles that you have won?
Ryan) 2013 2nd place in the Cadet Recurve National Rankings, Made 2012 Junior Dream Team, 2013 Archery of the Americas Indoor Championship Bronze Medal, 2013 Cross Continental Championships Gold Medal (adult division), 2013 Easton JOAD Nationals 3rd Place, 2013 US Indoor Nationals 2nd place, 2013 JOAD Indoor Nationals 3rd place, 2012 Easton JOAD Nationals 2nd place, 2012 US Indoor Nationals 1st place, 2012 JOAD Indoor Nationals 2nd place, 2011 Easton JOAD Nationals 1st place.
Meghan) I was Grand National Champion at Easton JOAD nationals last summer in Hamilton, Ohio, FL state outdoor FITA champion two years in a row, FL state indoor FITA champion last year and I hold 16 state records both indoor and outdoor.
Coach) Tell us about the World Indoor trials, was it fun, was the competition tough, did you think you would make the team, was there one match that was the hardest?
Ryan) I was confident in my ability to make the team even competing with the toughest competition in the country. I think we all had fun shooting against each other and spending time together.
Meghan) I love competitions, so it was really fun! The competition was tough. I shot the first day having a goal of making the top eight because only the top eight moved on to the second day. I ended up getting first. The second day I also came in first, which was a surprise as I did not think I was going to make the team going into the tournament. The hardest match was against someone who had come in sixth the first day, Kathleen Roberts Stevenson, and she ended up winning that match.
Coach) What is the most exciting thing about going to France?
Ryan) The most exciting thing about going to France is representing the United States and competing at such a high level and going to another country for eight days.
Meghan) The most exciting thing about going to France is that I’m representing the USA. It’s been a dream of mine ever since I started archery and it’s come true.
Coach) How are you fundraising and can you give us the pages/links so we can share?
Ryan) I am trying to raise $3,000 to help cover the costs of the trip to France and I am taking online donations, you can find the link to my fundraising efforts on Facebook by searching “Ryan’s World Indoor Championships Nimes France” or go to www.GoFundMe.com/Ryans-World-IndoorFrance
Meghan) There are some really great people in our archery community at ESNC who are helping me as well as family and I appreciate them a lot. I also have a fundraising page if anyone would like to help out, it’s at http://www.gofundme.com/5ry1m4
Coach) Finally, what are your archery goals for after the world indoors?
Ryan) My goals after World Indoor Championships is to win every USA Archery tournament in 2014 and start training for the 2016 Olympic Trials.
Meghan) After world indoors, my goals are to make the USAT this year as a cadet, and the Olympic team in 2016.
Keep an eye on these young up and coming stars. We wish them all the best in their preparation for the event. For more details about events being held at the Easton Newberry Complex or how to take lessons at the complex be sure to head to www.eastonnewberrysportscomplex.com
By: Coach Robert Turner