Sharp shooting sophomore
Osakis sophomore Krista Fearing comes from a family of devoted bow hunters, which is why she fell in love with archery herself.
But instead of whitetails, Fearing focuses solely on targets. Bull’s-eyes in particular, and she has gotten pretty good at hitting them; to the point where Fearing will compete in her second straight national tournament after another standout performance in the state tournament through Minnesota’s Archery in the Schools Program.
“I wasn’t really as confident as I probably was last year because we just had the Osakis tournament and I didn’t do that well in that,” Fearing said of going into the state shoot. “I really didn’t think I was going to do as well as I did, so it was very surprising.”
Turns out she had nothing to worry about as Fearing got into a groove that lasted through the whole tournament. She shot a score of 294 out of a possible 300. That was good for second in the High School Female Division. It also made her the second overall champion after the girl who beat her also topped every other shooter, male or female, at state.
“I was really happy with how I did because that was my personal best for all the years I’ve done this,” Fearing said. “That was pretty great.”
Fearing started in the archery program as a 7th grader and has turned herself into quite the sharpshooter. She said the main factor in shooting so well at state was luck, but she works hard at it. Fearing shot almost every morning during the months leading up to the state tournament on March 28, and it paid off for her on the day of the shoot.
“Krista is one of the best shooters I’ve seen and that we’ve had go through our program,” Shad Schmidt said. “She is very dedicated and does shoot almost every morning. She is deserving of her achievements because she has worked hard for them.”
Schmidt is the head coach of Osakis’ archery in the schools program. He got the program going in Osakis in 2007 with between 20-30 kids. Now in its eighth season, the team has grown to 67 kids from grades 7-12. The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) had more than 2 million students participate during the 2012-13 season.
Like trap shooting with a shotgun, the archery program is an opportunity for all kids to compete as a part of a team. The archers shoot low-poundage Mathews Genesis bows that fit shooters of any age and size.
That chance to shoot competitively was exactly what Fearing was looking for when she joined the team almost four years ago. Her family triggered her interest in shooting, but she didn’t want to hunt.
“It’s just a really big part of my family,” she said. “Since I’ve never really gone hunting, this is a great alternative.”
Fearing hopes to carry over some momentum from the state shoot to the national tournament, which takes place in Louisville, Kentucky May 9-10 where she will test herself against other state’s top shooters. Fearing got her first taste of this event last spring when she shot a 281 at nationals. Her goals this year are to improve on that with a little bit of experience behind her.
“Last year, it was all very overwhelming,” Fearing said. “The complex we shot in was huge. It was really crazy with all the other kids who were there, so I was very nervous. Hopefully this year when I go, I’ll be a little more mellow and be able to shoot a little better.”