Anna Willison of Minford, Ohio was recently named the 2016 International Bowhunting Organization (IBO) Indoor World Champion in the female youth class, after competing in Cleveland, Ohio over a three day competition from January 15-17th. The competition, which was sanctioned by the IBO, and hosted by Parma Archery.
The 17 year old archer finished in first place at the competition, finishing with a score of 406, with 19 perfect X Rings. Willison qualified for the 2016 championships based on her performance in last year’s competition, in which she finished in second place.
Anna said she felt she had done a good job in the competition.
“It felt like my whole year of practicing really paid off,” Anna said.
Competitive archery is still relatively new for Anna.
“She has been into archery for about two years,” Anna’s mother, Kelly Willison said.
Anna has preferred the more individualized sports, that allow her to focus. She had previously taken up ice-skating and golf, which she still enjoys.
“She thought about it, and we have an archery club here close, so she decided (on it),” Kelly said.
Anna was connected with Wayne Risner, who helped train her in archery. Risner was an alternate for the Olympics in archery for the 1996 games in Atlanta.
“He was really helpful, and has done a lot of training for her,” Kelly said.
Anna’s father, Dwayne Willison, has also helped train Anna. Dwayne shot archery when he was younger, and has assisted with Anna’s training. Other members at the archery club Anna goes to have also chipped in and helped the young archer improve her craft.
“We take her, and she shoots about four nights a week,” Kelly said. “On the nights we don’t take her out to shoot, she practices at home.”
Kelly said Anna really enjoys both the competitive and non-competitive aspects of archery, and likes the individual mentality of the sport, as compared to group activities like dance, that at times, left her feeling nervous.
“With archery, because she has to be so focused, she’s not nervous,” Kelly said. “She just has a really good handle on that.”
The Willisons were first made aware of the championships through advertising posters and random talk at the Lone Eagle Archery Club in Minford, as well as through another archery club in Jackson.
After competing in last year’s championship, Anna became a staff shooter for Darton Archery, Detty Outdoors and Tanker Stabilizers.
Anna will compete in the 2016 IBO Outdoor World Championships at the Southern Springs Ski Resort in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.
“I guess I’ll just do my best and try and win,” Anna said. “Of course, if I don’t win I’ll still have fun knowing that I tried.”
She has quite a few hobbies outside of archery, including traveling, camping, as well as having an interest in special effects makeup.
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.