SEVEN SPRINGS, PA. — The best just seem to have a way of rising to the occasion, no matter the pressure situation.
Competing in their final event of the archery season at the NASP/IBO World Outdoor 3D challenge in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, Friday, Aug. 11, Lilly Machart, Carson Bright, Olivia Christianson and Braidee Ruhl all had high hopes of representing their Anamosa Schools archery team to the best of their abilities.
Wow, did they ever.
Machart had a huge tournament, not only winning the middle school International Bowhunting Organization (IBO) World Championship, but the Anamosa eighth grader also claimed the overall World title at the Seven Springs event after turning in a 3D career-best score of 295.
Machart topped all 114 girls archers competing and trailed only Henry Thompson, of Kentucky, among all 236 shooters taking part in the event.
“Coming into the IBO World event, Lilly was seven points behind Tabitha Way, of South Carolina, in the 3-Star Challenge (total score combined at the National NASP 3D, World NASP 3D and IBO World 3D tournaments),” said Anamosa Schools archery coach Chad Machart. “Lilly knew she would probably win the middle school division, but she had her sights set on the overall.
“The odds didn’t look good going into the event as Tabitha Way, the senior and last year’s overall winner, had been having a great year. Lilly knew she would have to do incredible shooting to have a chance. I told her anything can happen.”
Anything did happen. Machart passed Way at the Seven Springs tournament to become this year’s 3-Star Challenge champion, finishing with a score of 876 out of a possible 900, eight points ahead of the South Carolina senior who tallied a score of 280 at the IBO Challenge.
Machart won a $1,000 scholarship along with trophies, plaques and a bow case.
“Lilly has big goals she wants to accomplish in NASP,” Machart said. “She is well on her way to achieving them and making her mark in the archery world.”
Machart wasn’t the only Anamosa archer making headlines at the IBO 3D Challenge, as Bright and Christianson also came home with plaques.
Christianson, a junior, was second among all high school girls competing and topped all high school junior girls firing a 284 score.
Bright, a fifth grader, was fifth against the elementary boys field coming through with a score of 276, that also placed him third among all fifth grade boys taking part at the event.
“Olivia has struggled the last part of the season and has been working as hard as any archer we have ever had,” Machart said. “She is a great team leader and motivator. It was great to see her getting back on her game going into her senior year.
“Carson ended up fourth in the elementary 3-Star Challenge. He is an amazing young archer who has been stuck practicing with these high school female archers all summer. He watches and learns.”
Ruhl tallied a 261 score at the season-ending tournament.
“Braidee was an archer that a year ago didn’t care much for the 3D portion of NASP,” Machart said. “She has been having great success with it and continues to improve and work hard.”
What makes Anamosa’s performance that much more amazing? They had very little competition outside in the elements during the season like they saw at the IBO event.
But being members of the Anamosa Bowhunters more than prepared them.
“This event was outside on uneven terrain,” Machart said. “These archers are members of the Anamosa Bowhunters and the practice they do on that course has prepared them to excel in tournament situations like this.
“I believe that is why these four archers succeed to this level. The archery season started in November. All the time and practice has paid off big for them and the program. We’re all very proud.”