By Gary R. Rasberry
ST. HENRY -- After deciding to forgo the opportunity last year, Brandon Jarrett finally got his chance this year after qualifying for the International Bowhunting Organization's World Championship held at Snowshoe, West Virginia last weekend.
The 17-year-old St. Henry resident came home strong, posting a top-six finish in the championships in the 15- to -17-year-old division, a step he wanted to make after passing on the worlds last year to prepare for this season.
"It feels pretty good to be able to go," said Jarrett. "It was nice."
Last year, Jarrett competed in the division and earned the invite to the Worlds after placing ninth overall in the Triple Crown for the age group. Knowing that several of last year's top bowmen would be moving up to the adult division this season, Jarrett decided to not go and got ready for the 2005 season.
Jarrett worked hard, shooting regularly in competition on Sundays and Wednesdays. The work paid off as Jarrett ranked 18th in the Triple Crown standings this year, amazing considering he did not score at the first leg of the competition in Bedford, Ind. after being unable to finish the tournament. At the second leg, though, he made up for it, placing ninth in McKean, Pennsylvania. At the third leg in Nelsonville, Jarrett placed eighth overall to move up into the top 20.
At the Worlds, which consisted of two days of shooting at the Snowshoe Mountain ski resort, requiring using skilifts to go up to the target areas. After the two rounds, consisting of 20 targets each day, Jarrett scored a 384 with an 11 count -- the center of the target score -- of 12, good for a tie for third and allowed him to advance to a championship round of 10 targets.
"It shocked me," said Jarrett about making the top five. "I didn't think I would make it there. But I did, unbelievably."
There, Jarrett struggled a little in scoring 79 to finish with an overall score of 463, sixth overall in the standings. Over the 50 targets, Jarrett hit 14 11-point center scores.
"I thought I was going to be in the top five. It was a little disappointing," said Jarrett. "Now, I guess you have to be happy placing in the top 10.
"It was nice to be able to compete in them all (Triple Crown and the Worlds). The way the Worlds went, it was different, a lot different than going to the other tournaments
The good news for Brandon is that he can stay in the 15-17 division next season despite being 18. Since he was still 17 at the end of the season, he is eligible for the Worlds next year.
"I thought it was (the last year)," said Jarrett. "I think it will help. It definitely made me feel better when they told me that. Everyone I shot with on Saturday -- the top five -- were all 18. I was the youngest one there."
After next year, Jarrett will get the chance to move up to the adult division in the IBO.
"It will be fun," said Jarrett. "It will be challenging."