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March 22, 2023

Barebow top seed Weissinger takes stock ahead of Louisville after recent loss

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Sport can often be a distraction from the rigors of everyday life, but occasionally there are events so significant that sport slides down the scale of what is truly important.

Robby Weissinger goes into this week’s Indoor Nationals Final in Louisville as the top seed in the barebow nongender division, having scored 1089 during qualifiers in Minnesota. Shortly after that performance, the 24-year-old from Iowa suffered the loss of his mother, Tracy.

“I can honestly tell you, it meant nothing to win,” admitted Weissinger. “When there’s other, bigger things in life that happen, it kind of gave me some perspective on just life in general.”

During this incredibly difficult time for Weissinger, the one constant has been archery. He said, “Shooting was the thing I was always able to go back to. I kind of have peace, right? It’s the one thing I have control over. It’s like a meditation, almost.

“I feel comfortable doing it. I’m in control of what I do. Any of the outcomes, where the arrow lands, is all on me. It gives me something else to focus on. It’s been tremendously helpful to be able to shoot. That’s the one thing I have right now which is kind of normal.”

And while Weissinger will give it his all inside the Kentucky International Convention Center on Thursday, recent events have led to him reassessing life’s challenges.

He added, “When you have to deal with something that’s super difficult in life, the things that you perceive as hard get a lot easier.

“It’s hard to shoot a whole tournament with complete and total control with barebow, where you don’t have any bad flinches, any really poor shots. That’s a difficult thing to do.

“And now I actually had to deal with something that was actually difficult to deal with in my life. I’ve had a fairly easy life up until this. It makes archery seem easy. I’m not worried about stepping up against anybody.

“That’s not going to be my make or break as to how I perform at this. I’m still going to be me; I’m still going to do the things that I love to do. I’m going to do this because I love doing it.”

Weissinger’s first contest is against Steve Oakley. The winner will meet John Winker or Matt Yacca for a place in the gold medal match.

In the other half of the bracket, third seed John Dawson tackles Marcus Cooley, while Nick Way faces number two seed Paul Donahoo. Donahoo was just two points behind Weissinger in qualifying and is still going strong at 80 years of age.

Weissinger said, “It’s fantastic to watch someone who is a few times older than I am go up there and put up a score right next to mine.

“This is just something you don’t see in other disciplines, and I think it’s really awesome and cool. I can think of a lot of masters-age people that will hang with the senior age group. You’ve got such a deep field of really good shooters. It’s not just in the senior or junior categories.”

The top recurve, compound and barebow archers from 12 regional events of the 54th USA Archery Indoor Nationals will compete in head-to-head elimination matches on Thursday. The Final has a total prize purse of $71,500, with payouts to all places.

The gold medal matches will be streamed live via Competition Archery Media from 5pm ET.

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