PETERSTOWN — A Monroe County resident will travel to Italy in September as a member of Team USA to compete in the World 3-D Archery Championships.
Sydney Phipps, a junior student at Concord University majoring in molecular biology, will be taking on the best archers in the world, and she’s excited and ready.
“It’s my first time on Team USA,” she said, and it’s the second time I’ve tried.
Phipps, 19 and a resident of Peterstown, has been working towards this goal for 10 years.
She started participating in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) at the age of 9 and has since won many state, national and world competitions, but this is the pinnacle of competitive 3D archery.
Phipps said the 3-D essentially mimics bowhunting and primarily uses game as the target as competitors run through a forest and shoot, with targets several feet away and at different elevations.
“We don’t know the distance for sure,” she said, but there’s usually a maximum of 25 meters (plus or minus 10%), which can actually be farther depending on elevation. . “As soon as you get to the peg (shooting location), you have 2 minutes (to shoot), but normally you don’t need much.”
The number of targets may vary.
For example, she qualified for Team USA in London, Ky. USA Archery World 3-D Team Trials last month.
“You shoot 24 targets and two arrows at each target,” she said. “It’s split into two days, so you shoot 48 targets over two days.”
Local shots may only have 25 targets in total and an IBO (International Bowhunting Organization) competition has a total of 40 targets but only one shot at each.
The targets vary in size and are scattered throughout the course with different elevations and angles.
“A big part of course management is realizing how big your target is and what it might look like at different distances,” she said.
“I started shooting competitive 3D in seventh grade,” she said. “That’s when I won my first world championship (in NASP competition). I shot that with NASP until my sophomore year in high school.
After that, she switched to competitive barebow, which is like a simple old-fashioned bow and arrow.
“But it’s a bit more than the traditional recurve bow,” she said, giving her a few more options for controlling distance, but not as many controls as on a modern compound bow. “There is no view. You aim for the arrow (as with the traditional bow and arrow).
The barebow is a basic style of recurve bow, which uses the same modern materials but does not allow accessories to help aim or stabilize.
Phipps is sponsored by CD Archery of Pennsylvania and his equipment, including his CD Archery Riser bow, is donated to him by the company.
“They’re an amazing company to work with,” she said.
Phipps has won the IBO World Championship twice (in 2020 and 2021) as well as the IBO Triple Crown (competing at three different locations).
She has a total of eight IBO World Championships in different types of competition including indoor, traditional and outdoor.
Phipps said she was one of 24 archers from across the country to have made the team, but was the only one from West Virginia.
Other states represented include Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Wyoming, among many other states. “We come from all over the country.”
Phipps said she only knows one other West Virginia resident who has been on Team USA in the past. “He was from the Northern Panhandle…I think it was 2019.”
“For 3-D, there is no youth division,” she said. “So it’s all adults. There is a couple of 19 and 20 years old and a couple of about 60 years old. There’s a wide range of ages, a wide range of where we all come from.
“They’re all great people,” she said. “They are amazing. Some of us have known each other for a long time and some of us have just met.
Phipps said that 25 countries are usually represented in this world championship.
“It’s the barebow Olympics,” she said. Barebow competition is not yet included in the Olympics.
Her mother, Roseann Phipps, said she was “very excited” to see her daughter achieve a goal she has had for many years. “It’s overwhelming.”
But it happened with a lot of hard work and dedication.
“She put in hours, time and labor for this,” Phipps said. “She really gave up a lot to get here. She did not have a normal childhood or adolescence. She gave up a lot of sleepovers and birthday parties.
Even with all the hard work in training and competition, Sydney took dual-enrollment classes at James Monroe High School, which gave her a year head start in college, a rising junior.
Roseann Phipps at one point shot her daughter, but “she was only 10 when she started beating me”.
Sean Phipps, Sydney’s father, is a bow hunter and piqued Syndey’s interest, working with her over the years.
He will accompany her on the trip.
“He’s her backbone,” Roseann Phipps said of her husband’s experience working with Sydney. “She must have it. They worked together to bring it this far.
Sydney said she had to sacrifice a lot to reach this point, but she has no regrets, adding that it will also help her achieve her career and professional goal of being an orthopedic surgeon, which is also hard work. and dedication, as well as steady hands.
Phipps will fly from Roanoke to Charlotte on September 1 and land in Rome on September 2, returning (landing in Philadelphia) on September 10.
She plans to have time to visit Rome and possibly other places during her stay, with two days of training before the start of competition on September 4.
The championship takes place in Terni, Italy, about 60 miles northeast of Rome.
Although the United States is represented, it is the only participating country that does not provide financial support to its team in this tournament.
“We have to raise our own money,” Phipps said, which is why she has an online gofundme site, gofund.me/cdac9f1f.
It’s a dream come true for Phipps.
“I’m very excited. The whole team, we’re all very excited,” she said.