The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Archery: the hidden sport of Guilford

The sun beat down on my back as I wiped the sweat from my brow. Straightening up, I firmly held the compound bow in my left hand. As I drew the arrow back with my right, I felt the bow already fighting back, trying to launch the arrow.My muscles strained until I managed to pull the arrow to my chin. With one eye closed, I focused on a target 20 feet in front of me and pulled my hand back sharply. The arrow tore through the air and sunk with a low thump into the center of the styrofoam target.

It is the thrill of the sport, much like hitting your first home run, sinking your first basket, or scoring your first touchdown. Hitting a bull’s-eye is possible at Guilford. Some students don’t realize that Guilford offers archery.

The archery club, which was founded in 2007 by senior Lindsay Lavenhar, meets once a week and offers training for beginners and friendly competition for veteran shooters. Every Saturday, this still-growing club hauls over 50 arrows, seven compound and recurve bows, a target, and a net down to the field behind the tennis courts.

“It is definitely something fun and physical to do on a Saturday when the weather is nice,” said Grant Gross, junior and club member.

Lavenhar has been coaching for about six years and founded the club as a sophomore.

“The reason I started the club was that I wanted to continue practicing on my own,” Lavenhar said in an e-mail. “But I also wanted to keep coaching since I enjoyed sharing the sport with others.”

Though she has passed on the title of president to sophomore Lauren McClure, Lavenhar continues to coach beginners and help the club officers purchase and care for the equipment.

Participation has varied over the years. Though the club gets about eight people over the course of the meeting, there are only a few members who are regulars.

“I have spoken to many students who are completely unaware that we have an archery club,” McClure said during the last meeting. “So we are planning to publicize the club more next year as well as holding competitions for the veterans.”

The club has yet to compete outside of school. However, Lavenhar has expressed interest in working more with students who want to participate in official tournaments.

“The mental challenge in archery is that, in addition to only focusing on aiming, is to not think about anything else: don’t worry about where the arrow hits,” Lavenhar said. “And if it’s in a tournament, don’t worry about your score, or the last arrow you shot, or your competition, or the people around you. The only thing to focus on is what you are doing right then.”

The archery club meets from 3:00-5:00 p.m. every Saturday by the tennis courts next to Ragan-Brown Field House. The club provides all equipment as well as water and bug spray for students.

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