Story by Nick Erickson, Assistant Features Editor
Photo courtesy of Brock Kirk/The News
Murray State’s Brandon Shaw has achieved both the national spotlight for himself and the sport, competing at the United States Collegiate Archery Association in January and placing fourth nationwide.
The competition was the South Region match of the United States Intercollegiate Indoor Archery Championships held in Madisonville, Kentucky from Jan. 25-28. Led by coach Tom Patterson, Shaw has made a name for both himself and the western Kentucky community.
Shooting for over 10 years, Shaw began engaging in competitive archery during his freshman year of high school. Having recently started his first semester at Murray State, he started shooting USCA during his final year of community college.
“I competed with the Madisonville Community college team for the outdoor season and medaled in both tournaments we competed in,” Shaw said, “I took both silver at the regional and bronze at nationals.”
Shaw said with his time at community college coming to an end, he didn’t have much time allotted to shoot in the USCA. Once Murray State was in his sights, he realized he would be able to further his drive for the sport.
“After deciding I would go to Murray State to finish my education, it was a great help to know that I could continue shooting and compete at the college level,” Shaw said.
Though his time before was limited, Shaw said he’s thankful to know he has at least a couple more years to develop as an archer at his current level.
Shaw holds an abundance of fond archery memories, including numerous award-winning instances.
“My favorite memory from competing would probably be winning a National Field Archery Association (NFAA) indoor state championship on my first try,” Shaw said. “A tie for that could be when I finished third place at the college outdoor nationals in Yankton, South Dakota.”
Shaw’s passion for his craft has not gone unnoticed by those close to him. Kody Applebee, Shaw’s friend and fellow archery competitor from his time at Madisonville Community College said he has great faith in Shaw’s abilities.
“Shaw and I have shot archery together since our freshman year of high school and he’s always done amazing,” Applebee said. “His passion reflects on the rest of his life, as he’s very dependable and always willing to lend a hand to his peers.”
Shaw is qualified to compete in the USA Archery Nevada State Indoor Championships, which took place Feb. 7.
While archery is arguably not the most prevalent sport at a collegiate level, it undoubtedly holds its place as an engaging pastime. Shaw said he highly recommends it to anyone who is interested.
“It is an extremely rewarding activity,” Shaw said. “Rest assured, you get out of it what you put into it.”