Feb 12, 2019 – University of South Dakota Junior archer Robby Weissinger earned his second podium placement at the 2019 US Intercollegiate Indoor National Championships taking place in Las Vegas, NV this weekend. Twenty-three colleges and universities were represented at this collegiate championship; each archer having qualified to compete at this event by ranking in the top 8 in their division across the country. This event was held in conjunction with The Vegas Shoot, the largest indoor tournament in the world, adding to the excitement and intensity of the experience for all archers attending.
This was the second time the West De Moines native and member of the NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Center qualified for this event. Having earned a bronze medal in 2018 in the men’s recurve division. In order to qualify for Indoor Nationals, archers must compete in their regional indoor championships, all regions are then combined, scores ranked and the top 8 archers in each division are invited to participate in The Vegas Shoot and head-to-head elimination matches to determine final college indoor national rankings. “I felt really confident going into the finals this year,” commented Weissinger. “I had seen the venue before so I knew I would be more comfortable and I had been shooting the best I ever had. To help me get ready for Vegas and the finals this year I started raising my arrow count, doing more mental and physical training and practiced shooting in elimination rounds. I targeted what I wanted to work on and put in the work and had faith that everything will come together at the right time.”
This time around he went into the event as the number one seed and shot his way from quarterfinals to the gold medal match. Weissinger’s recurve fold match had the special distinction of being one chosen as an exhibition match taking place on the same stage as the finals matches for the Archery Indoor World Series and Vegas Shoot Finals Shootoff; the two most famous indoor finals events in the world.
“I know I had worked harder than I had before, so therefore I know I was going to shoot better,” commented Weissinger of the experience. “This tournament also threw a high level of nerves my way given that I shot on the biggest stage of my career so far and I felt those nerves, but I never let them get to me. I always had the same goal in mind and that was to shoot strong shots regardless of where the last shot went and what the score was.”
Recurve matches run as a set system: archers shoot three arrows per end. The higher score earns two set points, in the event of a tie archers split their set points; the first archer to 6 set points wins the match. Weissinger’s match against Matthew Zumbo of Golden West College was a nail bitter, with each archer alternating set point wins 2-2, then 4-4, ending in a 6-4 win for the archer from Golden West.
“Robby did an amazing job,” commented Coach Josahan Jaime-Sambrano, coach at the NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Center, who was in the coaches’ box with Weissinger during his match. “Center stage at The Vegas Shoot is one of the most intimidating venues in archery but Robby stayed focused and determined to shot his absolute best until the very last arrow shot in that match. It was inspiring to watch him take on that challenge. Robby has big aspirations for his career, his ultimate goal is to represent the US at the Summer Olympics. He got a taste of the big stage this weekend, I am very excited to see how he’ll do at bigger events as he grows as an archer.”
“My biggest takeaway is that I know I can do anything I set my mind to now. Being center stage and shooting well, for the most part, showed me that because of how hard I worked to prepare, this is now possible. So going into the rest of the season, training for world university games and the Olympic trials, I know that if I set my mind to it, and put in the work, it will no longer be just a dream but a possible reality that I know I can achieve.”
Asked about his upcoming plans and the perspective he’ll take into future events, Weissinger replied, “I have seen my potential for growth and shooting for gold in front of a packed arena poured more gasoline into my first to compete at the highest level and to train harder than ever to make the dreams I’ve had since I was a little kid, a reality. “
Up next for Weissinger is transitioning to outdoor target archery to prepare for the First Dakota Classic in Yankton, SD as well as Collegiate Outdoor Target Nationals and World University Trials in Dublin, OH.
For more information regarding the University of South Dakota Archery Club contact Coach Jos at Jos@neyac.org or 605-260-9282