McFarland sets UPIKE archery record in first collegiate tournament

  • Ana McFarland
    Ana McFarland

    It did not take long for Ana McFarland to put her claim on the UPIKE women’s archey record book.
    Teaming up with AJ Clements, she won the gold medal in the Mixed Recurve event, defeating Cumberlands in the championship round.
    The MSC Championships served as the collegiate debut for McFarland who also grabbed a fourth-place finish in the women’s recurve event, breaking a previous school record by 44 points.
    Not only was it her first collegiate meet, but it is a different setup than in high school.
    “In high school, you are shooting a basic Genesis bow, and a recurve bow (shot in college) is more complex than that,” explained McFarland. “This bow is totally different in so many ways than a bow you would shoot in high school. The recurve bow, you have to totally put it together.”
    Her Head Coach Ellie Yocum pointed out, “The only thing that’s the same is the 11 steps of shooting. The genesis bow you shoot in high school has no sights or stabilizers; the  Olympic recurve has sights, stabilizers, and a lot more accessories that you don’t get to use in high school.”
    It took some time for McFarland to like the recurve, though.
    “I originally hated the recurve, so I started training on the compound. I picked up the recurve again and just fell in love with it.”
    She pointed out that the distance she is shooting is also different.
    “In high school, you only shoot 10 and 15 meters. Shooting a recurve, you will be shooting at a target that is 50, 60, and 70 meters which is outside.”
    While in high school, each archer shoots five arrows in each of three rounds at the 10 and 15 meter distance. This is another change for collegiate archers.
    “You will shoot three arrows and have 10 rounds and that makes 300 score. In tournaments, you will shoot a 600 score. So, 20 rounds with three arrows and a break at the half point,” she said.
    The arrows are different, too. In high school, the arrows are the same length, same width, and have the same kind of fletchings.
    “Arrows are made to fit you. I personally have skinny arrows, but I’ve seen other people hav a wider arrow. The length of the arrow is made to fit your draw length,” explained McFarland.
    The changes continue with the format of competition. She now shoots what is called three spot.
    According to McFarland, three spot is three different circles, and you have to put an arrow in each of the circles.
    “The scoring on those is different because the lowest score is six or a miss if you completely miss the circle,” she explained.
    She was teamed with Clements as he is the top recurve guy for UPIKE while she is the top recurve girl.
    “We will shoot together and compete against other schools using set scores. If we scored better than the other team, we would get two points. First team to six wins the match.”
    McFarland’s success is this new format is not a surprise to her coach.
    “I knew when I saw her scores and her shooting that she had a lot of potential. She is coachable, reliable, smart, and overall a great person. Those are things I look for in recruits. She has been a great addition to the team, and I can not wait to watch her improve more over the next 3 ½ years. She has already broken one school record, and I see lots more being broken in the future.