MONROE — Erin White, 16, is a junior at Monroe High School. She is headed to Italy in September to represent the U.S. as part of the Recurve Junior Women’s Team at the World Archery Field Championships.
Question: You competed at team trials in Darrington this summer?
Answer: It was a three-day tournament. The first day we shot 24 targets out in the woods. They were unmarked distances. There were five girls (in my division). At each target, you have to guess the distance and change your sight for what you think it is and then shoot and see if you were right. We were ranked based on our score. The next day we shot another 24 targets. That course was marked so we knew our distances. The course was beautiful. It was out in the woods and had really great views. It was challenging. The next day we came back for finals and we shot eight targets and, depending on that score, we got ranked again. The top four shot four targets and (the scores) were all added up. It ended up with me being in first and my friend Faith Cook in second and my friend Arianna Santiago in third.
Q: So you’re going to Cortina (d’Ampezzo) in Italy?
A: We leave on Sept. 1. I’ll be competing against girls from China, Germany, Denmark, everywhere. Cortina is a ski resort, so it should be pretty challenging and beautiful. I’ve been trying to learn Italian so I can talk to people. We get to make new friends and then we also can trade jerseys with them, so we can take their jersey back home as a souvenir. We can trade pins, too. We have little USA pins.
Q: How long have you been doing archery?
A: I’ve been shooting since I was 8 years old. I started because my grandma used to shoot and I found her bow in the attic one day. My sister (Cailie, 20) and I asked our parents about it. We tried it out with little compound bows, beginner ones. We really liked it so we joined 4H Nock and Fire in Monroe. We improved and got to know archery better. Then we started doing lessons at The Nock Point in Mountlake Terrace. I got on a team at The Nock Point and then I got on a team of archers from all over the country that are my age, so 14 to 18. We got to train at the Olympic Training Center of Chula Vista, California. That really helped me get better, along with all the coaches I’ve had and all the friends I’ve made.
Q: What is the best part of archery?
A: Traveling the country and now the world. Seeing new places and exploring and making really good friends that I’ll probably have the rest of my life. Competing is really fun. I love that you can always improve. You don’t just learn it and you’re set for life. You can always get better.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge?
A: Being patient. Just keep working, even if you don’t see improvements and something’s not working. You’ll get there, but it’s not something that happens overnight.
Q: How often do you practice?
A: Six days a week. I usually practice for at least two hours a day, maybe three.
Q: What else are you involved in?
A: I’m part of the National Honor Society. I really like music. I like traveling. I like art. In the winter, our family goes skiing. And I really like animals and horseback riding.
Q: Do you know what you want to do after high school?
A: I want to be a physical therapist. I’m thinking of Texas A&M because they have a really good program and they also have an archery team.
Q: What’s your advice to anybody interested in archery?
A: Don’t be afraid to try it. Don’t be intimidated. You’re not going to be perfect the first time you pick up a bow. But it is really fun and I’d recommend trying. It can be a stress reliever. If I’m having a bad day, I’ll just come out and shoot and clear my mind … Perseverance and self-discipline are really important to me. I wouldn’t be where I am without staying positive and working toward my goals and staying focused.
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.