Crites takes aim

Byron Crites prepares to shoot his bow and arrow at the Duel in the Desert archery competition in Arizona in November. The Cortez archer and 2016 Olympic hopeful completed a three week camp and evaluation at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., in hope of becoming a Resident Athlete there. Enlargephoto

Photo courtesy of Gary Yamaguchi

Byron Crites prepares to shoot his bow and arrow at the Duel in the Desert archery competition in Arizona in November. The Cortez archer and 2016 Olympic hopeful completed a three week camp and evaluation at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., in hope of becoming a Resident Athlete there.

Byron Crites finished his competitive archery tournament season with a top-10 national ranking.

In the Junior United States Archery Team recurve bow division, Crites, 18, finished 2012 ranked seventh. His goal was to be in the top-10, so he was very pleased.

Ranking tournaments took Crites from Arizona to California, to Ohio, Florida and Texas. He is coached by Dr. Gary Yamaguchi of Phoenix, Ariz.

Crites was invited to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., for a three week training camp and evaluation. He left Nov. 24, and started training Nov. 26.

It was a tough three weeks.

Training was six days on, one day off and included not only shooting, but fitness training, mental management and lots of evaluation by the OTC coach and the US national coach.

The invitation was a huge honor to Crites and also a huge step in realizing his dream to train full time at the OTC.

Crites ended the trial period last Friday by participating in the annual Resident Athlete 1,000 Arrow Challenge. It benefited "Waves of Appreciation," a program of the United Service Organizations (USO).

Becoming a RA at the OTC would go a long way toward Crites' ultimate goal of competing in the 2016 Olympic Games at Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Crites looks to be on target.