The Mount Marty College Lancer Archery Team started off the year with several wins at the 2017 NFAA Outdoor Target Nationals held at the Easton Yankton Archery Center. Over 200 archers from across the United States, from New York to Hawaii visited Yankton over the weekend to participate in the Target Outdoor National Championships. After the two-day scoring rounds McKenna Colley walked away with a silver medal in the adult women's recurve division.
Asked how she prepped for her first tournament representing Mount Marty McKenna replied "I prepared for this tournament by training multiple times a week for hours with both coaches and on my own. I trained at all three distances, and got comfortable with the format of this competition because I had never shot it before now. [During the tournament] I had to remember to just keep calm and shoot every shot by itself without worrying about the shots that happened before or after. Other than just focusing on myself, I felt really strong during this competition. " When asked how she thinks this tournament will impact her freshman experience at Mount Marty, McKenna remarked "Being that this competition went so well for me, I think this is just the beginning of this year and shows the hopeful potential of what can continue to happen this year. I really love being on the Mount Marty team. The friendship we have all formed just within the first few weeks is awesome. I can already tell we are going have some great times over the next four years. The coaches are also super great; they are always available to help you out and give us stuff to work on. It's really great being in such a small town and being so close to a range and great coaches."
McKenna came in second behind Lancer archery team coach Mackenzie Kieborz, who walked away with the coveted NFAA Champion silver bowl. Coach Kieborz has been a competitive shooter for over 8 years and is bringing her competitive experience to the team. Asked what she did to prepare for the event Coach Kieborz remarked. "I made sure my bow was shooting as best as it could. I had a really good first day and since I shot so well the first day approaching the second day with an open mind and trying not to pressure myself but to continue focusing on what I could control which was each shot one at a time." Regarding her impression of Mount Marty's first tournament and goals for the rest of the year Coach Kieborz added "It was a good event to see some of the team work and shoot in their first tournament; working through the frustrations that come up at every event, in this case the weather and temperature changes. I'm excited to keep working with the team and getting to know them better. I'm excited they're all really good archers, good people; they have a lot of fun and started to build bonds together which is important and makes it easier for us as coaches. [Looking forward], getting them to figure out what each athlete needs individually and as a team so we know what we can work on so they are ready for competitions. Getting them prepared for future with a new class next year since they are the first generation and getting them ready to be leaders in the process to help grow the team and be successful."
This tournament proved to be a first in multiple fronts as the team was able to present athletic scholarship offers to the top 3 finishers in the Young Adult Compound divisions for both male and female. "We know that if these archers ages 15-17 are finishing in the top 3 at a national championship that they are exceptionally talented," remarked head coach Josahan "Jos" Jamie-Santacruz. "We want to give them an opportunity to consider Mount Marty College as a way to continue their competitive archery careers after high school. Especially since the Easton Yankton Archery Center will be their training home while at Mount Marty. They'll get a great education and a chance to train and compete at the largest archery center in the world."
The next tournament for the Lancer Archery team is US Collegiate Archery North Regional 3D Championships in Norfolk, Neb. September 23.