BARRY’S BAY – Looking at the dozens of medals, awards and plaques honouring his archery achievements, it is hard to believe Ryan Luckovitch is only 13 years old.
The local prodigy is following close in his brother Brandon’s footsteps, who has moved into adult competitions after placing first in many bow championships over the years. Ryan always looked up to his brother and took up the skill at age seven while practising with Brandon.
When Ryan was nine, he decided to enter competitive archery and has not looked back. Just this month, he earned first place in the 12-14 age category at the Canadian National Archery Championships in Woodstock, New Brunswick.
It is an achievement in itself, considering this was Ryan’s first attempt at nationals.
“It was pretty emotional,” his mom, Donna, gushed.
The nationals happen every year all over Canada. Competitors are split into their respective age categories and shoot 27 targets on day one, 26 on the second and 27 on the third.
Targets are 3-D replicas of animals ranging from deer, to rabbits, to even mosquitoes. The bull’s-eye, is placed on the vitals, like the heart. The closer the arrow gets to the vitals, the better the score. The outer circle would score an eight, the second circle would be a 10 and the centre would be 11 points.
Ryan said the most challenging part of the competition is judging how far the target is from his shooting point.
“You don’t know the yardage. If you are off by two yards, or a yard, you could be out of that 11, out of the 10, out of the eight and you could be in a five, which is just hitting the target,” he said. “You just have to work on that because that is the name of the game in 3-D.”
He shot well the first day, coming in first in his age category. His proudest moment was learning that he had the highest score in all age categories after day one.
“Mind you, I shoot a little closer than them, but I am also younger than them,” Ryan explained.
Story continues in the August 21, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette