Nevada City archer, 13, hits bull’s eye with title
We should feel sorry for all of those deluded souls who thought they had a shot at the Pacific Coast Archery Championships’ boys 14-and-under title in Sacramento last month.
No doubt, they all hit the sack the night before with thoughts of flash bulbs and gold medals dancing through their heads.
Those poor kids had no way of knowing, but the competition was over the minute Nevada City’s Miles Ross signed his name on the dotted line.
Ross, 13, who entered the two-day event with a fistful of top four finishes – including three individual championships- in both national and regional field archery competitions in his five years on the archery range, was primed to add his first Olympic-style title to his trophy case.
“I felt so confident going in,” said the Seven Hills Middle School eighth-grader. “One of the things I did was listen to music between rounds. That really helped out, because I didn’t worry about the next round and how many points I had to score.
“You have to be very relaxed, because if you’re not, you’re going to shake all over the place and probably miss the target (completely),” he added.
Soothed by some of Bad Religion’s hottest licks, Ross went to work. He scored 1,385 out of a possible 1,440 points to torch the field and run away with the Cub title.
He also came three points away from setting a national record in the 40-meter distance portion of the meet.
“I found out about that a few days later when my dad pulled the national records off the Internet. It felt really good, because I had never even gotten close to beating a record before,” he said.
The Bay Area native picked up his first bow at age five.
“I went to a local park in Redwood City and it had an archery range. It looked like fun, so I decided to (give it a try),” he said. “We found a local archery shop and they had a league, so (that’s when I began shooting).”
It didn’t take long for the Bay Area native to shine.
At age eight, he took fourth place in the freestyle Cub Division at the National Field Archery Association’s national championships in Darrington, Wash.
He followed that up with a first place at the Golden Archers Tournament in San Pablo, Calif., then a third at Redding Trail Shoot National 3D Championships.
Since then, he hasn’t finished lower than third place overall and earned the rank of Expert Archer in the Junior Olympic Archery Development program.
Ross said his chosen sport has given him much more than a bunch of medals and such.
“I relax during my math tests more,” he laughed. “Archery has allowed me to focus, because you have to block everything out when you’re competing. The baby crying, or the people laughing next to you,” he said.
As for his future in archery, Ross has his sights set on the top.
“Next year, I want to break the record (in the Cub division), then move up to the Cadet level the following year,” he said. “Then, one day I’d like to win the world championship.”
For more information on youth archery, contact Claudia Stevenson at 274-2413. Or look up JOAD on the National Field Archery Association’s web site at http://www.nfaa-archery.org.
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As far as experts go, The Union’s “experts” have not exactly lived up to the billing so far this season.