McFarland will be firing arrows for the Bears
While some athletes have seen their athletic career come to a premature end, Ana McFarland is not one of them. Sure, her high school career has ended sooner than she would have liked but she recently committed to take her archery skills to Pikeville. Kentucky and become a member of their archery team.
“I am sad that I won’t get to go (to NASP state and KHSAA region/state competition) my senior year and try to shoot my best score. I know the other senior archers are sad that they don’t get to go either,” said the PCHS senior.
She chose the Bears to continue her career because of the comfort level that she had with the school.
“Just talking to the staff and visiting the campus, I felt very welcomed and it felt like home,” said McFarland.
She has had success with the Ladycat Archery team being a key member for much of their success.
In her first tournament with Pendleton County, she finished second in the eighth grade division firing a 277 which finished 22nd out of 188 archers.
Later that season, she contributed to the team’s success in both NASP and KHSAA regional tournaments. She fired a 268 at NASP which finished 51st out of 535 female archers. In the KHSAA, she shot a 278 to rank in the top 10 and help the coed team move onto the state tournament in their first season.
The next season, she was on fire to start the year with a 288 in the 10 meter tournament at Piner Elementary which finished second out of high school girls. Her second tournament as a freshmen saw a 277 and a fourth place high school girls finish.
“My fondest memories were shooting a 289 at Twenhofel and going on trips with the archery team and having a great time together,” she said. That 289 is her career high and another second place finish in the high school division ranks.
She had another top 10 finish in the KHSAA regions her freshmen year with a 272 which was good for fifth and helped lead her team to a second state appearance.
At NASP state, her 282 was good for 63rd out of 964 high school female archers.
Her sophomore year started with a strong of 280 scores including a 288 which placed third at Williamstown.
A 287 at NASP region placed her sixth among 286 high school girls and she followed that up with a 281 for4 fourth at KHSAA regionals. This was the second year the team competed as a female team and the second year she helped lead them to a state tournament appearance.
At NASP state, she continued to shoot strong with a 280 for 125th out of over 1,000 female archers and her 288 at KHSAA state placed her in the top 20 of female archers.
Her junior year saw a little dip in her scores but it was capped with yet another state NASP and KHSAA appearance.
“Two words come to mind when I think of Ana. Determination and work ethic. Anna was determined to be the best archer that she could be and to use archery as her ticket to higher education. She worked hard at NASP Archery and added a second bow platform to give her a more rounded skill set. She was always thinking about her shots in about improving the next shot or group. I believe these two trades will serve her well in a college archery career and in college in general. I am so proud that she was able to meet her goal of shooting for a college team,” said PCHS Archery Head Coach David Myers. She is the third person from the PCHS Archery team to move onto the collegiate level.
Shooting in high school was not her only archery experience.
“My experience with the JOAD team has reallly helped to prepare me for shooting on the collegiate level,” said the secondary education major.
JOAD is the Junior Olympic Archery Development program and calls for shooting with an Olympic recurve bow instead of the Genesis basic bow used in high school. Like college, they shoot at 15 meters instead of the 10 at high school and from 70 instead of the 15 meters. Along with the distance changes, the Genesis basic bow comes in one piece. The Olympic recurve calls for McFarland to assemble six pieces before shooting.
“JOAD broadened my knowledge base by teaching me how to use a different bow, fix my bow and how to adjust my equipment,” she explained.
McFarland had shot in seven tournaments her senior with a 271 at the NASP regional tournament being one of her highest scores. Once again, it helped her team move onto the state level.
“Since I’ve joined archery I have always gone to NASP and KHSSA regionals and state. I am sad that I won’t get to go my senior year,” she said as NASP state and KSHAA region and state were cancelled.
But the experiences has led her to the campus of UPIKE, something she did not expect.
“When I was younger, I never thought that I would be shooting archery in college,” McFarland said.
She will be and looking for more bullseye arrows wearing the orange and black jersey.