A young bowhunter is back in the woods around Bear Creek in Chatham County for the deer season, but he has a new view of archery. And a gold medal to show for it.
Dalton Richardson, 16, competed for the U.S. men’s team that won the World Archery 3D Championships held Sept. 19-24 in Robion, France. The U.S. sent a team of men and women to the 17-nation 3D competition for the first time.
“It was really fun, but at the same time, I loved the competitiveness of it,” said Richardson, a Chatham Central High School junior who started bowhunting seven years ago and has competed nationally for about three years.
With skills sharpened in practices of up to three hours a day, Richardson was the compound bow shooter in the men’s team round, which required each team have three of the four archery disciplines to shoot without distance-measuring devices at realistic three-dimensional targets. Dewayne Martin, 47, of Virginia shot the barebow, and Calvin Smock, 66, of Pennsylvania shot the longbow. Each shot one arrow at four targets for points.
The championship against Spain went to the final shot. The U.S. men led 27-26 after the first round, and Spain led 52-50 after the second, according to USA Archery. The third arrow produced U.S. scores of 8, 5 and 10, but Spain put up three 8s. The final arrows produced U.S. scores of 8, 10 and 11. Spain started with a 10 but followed with a stunning miss and a final 11, giving the U.S. a 102-95 victory.
John Winker, owner of Raleigh’s First Flight Archery and an individual longbow competitor, saw the final shots.
“It was amazing. We just exploded. The stands just lit up,” he said.
Richardson, who fired the final U.S. arrow on a “moderately hard shot” – a small roe deer target from 33 yards – said the event’s importance didn’t sink in until he observed the international competitors’ intensity. After a 16th-place individual finish, he hopes for a future chance.
“It was good knowing all the work and preparation paid off to be able to stand on the podium at a world event,” he said. “It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.”
Other N.C. individuals made the 20-person U.S. squad: Lesley Winker, married to John, women’s compound; LeAnna Chadwell, Wake Forest, Traci Taylor of Cary, women’s compound; Gaius Carter of Midland, men’s compound; D. Allen Hughes of Haw River, men’s instinctive; and Laura Hughes, Allen’s daughter, women’s longbow.
No U.S. individual medaled. Laura Hughes was in the women’s team event, where the U.S. finished 11th of 12. Results are at http://www.ianseo.net/Details.php?toId=2042.
Wildlife: The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday at its headquarters, 1751 Varsity Drive on N.C. State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. Live audio streaming will be available. Find an agenda at www.ncwildlife.org.
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