Members of the USD Archery Club can often be found at the NFAA Easton Yankton Archery complex. Some of them are practicing for upcoming competitions, others are shooting for the fun of it, but all of them are imagining what it will feel like when the complex hosts the World Archery Indoor Championships this week.
The World Archery Indoor Championships are being held in Yankton from Feb. 14 to Feb. 19. Members of USD’s archery club are excited an event this big is so close to campus.
Austin Rick, a sophomore dental hygiene major and vice president of the club, shot his first bow when he was in middle school and has been shooting ever since. He began shooting a compound bow, but switched to Olympic recurve with the hope of making it onto the U.S. Archery Team.
“Everything (about archery) appeals to me,” Rick said. “It’s unique. I love a good challenge. I compete because it’s fun.”
Kylie Doering, a sophomore medical biology major, has been involved with archery since she was in second grade. She joined the club her first year at USD after looking it up while she was in high school. She and Rick are two of the competitive shooters in the club.
“It’s honestly a great stress reliever,” she said. “We go to a lot (of competitions). It just kind of depends what we can do with our schedule.”
The club shoots many collegiate tournaments and has recently shot in the Collegiate Indoor Qualifiers as well as tournaments with the South Dakota Archers’ Association.
Chase Swearingen, a junior anthropology major and Archery Club president, said he began shooting in high school. He doesn’t shoot competitively, but he hopes to change that in the near future, he said.
“I have honestly never competed,” he said. “I am thinking about getting into it this semester and into the summer for state events.”
Swearingen sees archery as more than just a competition, he said.
“I don’t want it to sound too poetic, but it’s very therapeutic for me,” he said.
Archers have already begun arriving to the area for the tournament this week. The first official practice is Feb. 14 with competitions underway the following day. In 2011, the Yankton facility became the first indoor 90-meter range in the world. The facilities have recently undergone expansion in order to host this event.
Most of the archery club will either be watching or volunteering at the tournament, Doering said.
“We’re already thinking about who we want to meet (at the championships),” she said.