Air Force archers went up against teams from each branch of service and the U.S. Special Operations Command May 2 in Colorado Springs, Colo., during the 2012 Warrior Games.
The Air Force team had a good showing in the individual and team events, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Marines and Army from taking the gold and silver, respectively, in all four categories.
Corey Carter, a newcomer to the team this year, earned a place in the top eight out of 33 archers. The top eight individuals in each event, compound and recurve bows, competed against each other in a bracket-style competition for a chance to win the gold. As the eighth place compound archer, Carter was pitted against the firstst place Marine archer Mark O’Brien.
“With the amount of time that I had (to practice), I achieved what I came to do,” Carter said. “I made it to the advancement round, so that was good. I did everything I could.”
After three ends of six bows each, O’Brien out shot Carter and won the bronze for the Marines. Fellow Marine Justin Jones secured the gold and Fred Prince took the silver for the Army.
This is the first year the Air Force archers competed in the team events, and for four of the six team members, it was the first time competing in the competition.
Recurve team veteran Gwen Sheppard said she and her teammates are happy with their performance.
“We did better than I thought we would,” Sheppard said. “We didn’t get to practice as a team until yesterday. We had to start communicating with each other and we did that really well, so that was a plus. Each one of us stayed calm and called out the time.”
Both the compound and recurve teams made it to the bronze medal rounds, but weren’t able to secure the medals for the Air Force this year.
“The Army beat us, but they’re a strong team,” Sheppard said. “But we came close to the Navy, and next year we’ll get it.”
Corey Carter, Noel Sepulveda and Kevin Taylor represented the Air Force on the compound team. Sheppard, George Stiltner and Kendall Madden made up the recurve team.
The Marines and Army swept the gold and silver in both team events. The Special Operations Command team earned the bronze in compound and the Navy in recurve.