By Karen Brainard
With her sights set on a target, Ramona teenager Anna Miscione is aiming to compete on the U.S.A. archery team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“I’m trying hard for it,” said the 15-year-old who is ranked third in the nation in the Cadet (17 years old and younger) Recurve Division.
Less than two weeks ago, she returned from Wuxi, China, where she competed on the Cadet U.S. Archery Team at the World Archery Youth Championships. Individually, Miscione ranked seventh in the world in the cadet division while her team ranked eighth. In her division, 85 archers competed from 39 different countries.
“I had a great time meeting people internationally,” said the Ramona teen. “I really liked our team and I think we did really well.”
To win one of the three spots on the U.S. team, Miscione competed against 56 girls from across the U.S., said her mom, Lisa Miscione.
The 15-year-old, who used to do Irish dancing, took up archery after she attended Whispering Winds Summer Camp when she was in third grade.
“We just did it as an activity,” she said. “I think I liked it because it was different.” At age 9, she was already a competitive archer.
She focuses on recurve archery.
“It’s the only type of bow shot in the Olympics,” she said of the recurve bow. Over the years, she has increased the weight of the bow’s limbs, which increases the speed of the arrow, she explained. The faster the speed, the less chance for wind to affect the arrow’s course.
A sophomore at Cathedral Catholic High School, Miscione practices her archery about six days a week year-round. She trains at the Olympic training center in Chula Vista, works with a coach at the Morley Field Sports Complex in Balboa Park, and practices at home.
She describes archery as more of a mental sport. “You have to stay calm,” she said. “You have to just clear your mind.”
In competition Miscione will shoot from distances of 30, 40, 50 and 60 meters with the two longer distances using a target of 122 centimeters and the shorter distances focused on an 80-centimeter target. Where she hits on the target determines her points with 10 in the center as the perfect score. Hitting 144 arrows in a competition, a perfect score is 1,440. In China, Miscione shot a score of 1,283.
As Miscione works toward her goal of making the Olympic team, she will serve as a member of the 2014 U.S. Archery Cadet Team and continue to compete in tournaments, which is how she achieves her ranking.
She’s not the only archer in her family now — her father, Mark, took up the sport after she started but shoots a compound bow.
“It’s very popular these days,” Lisa Miscione said of the sport.