MOSELEY – In this past weekend’s Virginia State Outdoor Championships held at the Clover Hill Athletic Complex, the competing archers ranging widely in age shot four total rounds – or two rounds per day – with each round consisting of six “ends.” With each end, the competitors had 240 seconds to shoot six arrows at their circular targets, with each arrow able to score as high as 10 points.
And with each end, Madelyn “Maddie” Adams made those 240 seconds count.
“I just like to take my time,” she said. “I don’t really rush.”
Exhibiting patience and standing firm on the shooting line during each end – even after the archers surrounding her had returned to their tents – the 12-year-old standout from Powhatan consistently grouped her six arrows together inside the innermost yellow circle of the target throughout the four rounds on Saturday and Sunday.
Then she had a couple of setbacks in the form of a couple of six-point arrows. But Adams bounced back at the end of the two-day stretch while battling neck-and-neck with friend Andie Fulton to narrowly win the first-place medal in the championships’ compound bowman female division by a mere two points.
“It was definitely shocking!” Adams said after she and her Split Nocks Archery teammates Sophie Sutton and Carson Krahe each received their medals and got to take photos on the podium. “I didn’t think I was going to get first…but it was cool!”
Krahe, 15, placed third in the compound cadet female division.
“It was really nice – I didn’t expect to place because I had two misses,” said Krahe, who had a really good first day and then battled back from setbacks on Sunday.
Sutton, 13, placed third in the compound cub female division.
“I’m super-happy,” Sutton said. “I know I did my best and with more practice, hopefully I can do better.”
Both Krahe and Sutton have been competing in archery for about a year. Both archers credited practice for the success they’ve had, with Sutton adding: “I’m going to have fun but also…it just makes me happy. If it makes you happy, just keeping working at it, and follow your dreams.”
For the three archers’ head coach Emily Blackburn, the best part of the competition was that they came out and shot their best – and each of them had hiccups, but they each bounced back from them, she pointed out.
“If they had gotten those hiccups and then...hadn’t decided to move on and regroup, then we wouldn’t be standing here with medals around our necks,” Blackburn said. “It’s cool to see how resilient they are and dedicated to just doing their best. That’s what makes me the most proud of them.”