Few can match the prowess Savannah O’Donohue demonstrates with a bow and arrow. The soon-to-be eighth grader at Benton Middle School competed in June at the 2022 Youth Pan American Games in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and returned home as a silver medalist.
Approximately 175 archers from nine countries competed in the four-day championship. The tournament included a ranking round, which consisted of 72 scoring arrows at a distance of 50 meters in an outdoor setting. O’Donohue quickly made her mark, ranking in fourth place.
The elimination round consisted of 15 scored arrows at the same distance, and O’Donohue’s first match was against the Canadian archer. She came out on top with a score of 136 to 134, eliminating the host country’s archer from the competition.
During her second elimination match, O’Donohue drew the top-ranked archer from Mexico, and both archers tied at 140. That meant the match would go to a one arrow shoot off to determine the winner, with the closest to the center X winning. The Benton Tiger was able to sneak her arrow just inside the Mexico archer’s for the win.
That brought O’Donohue to the Gold Medal Match held two days later. This would again have her matched with a different archer from Mexico. Although the wind was brutal most of the week, it was calm during the elimination matches, but the new day brought different challenges.
O’Donohue fought the wind and found herself down 10 points after six arrows (two ends). Determined to not go down without a fight, the Bossier Parish archer gained two points on the third end, down by eight total. On the fifth end, O’Donohue was able to gain only three additional points, losing the match by two. Although it was not meant to be, she fought hard to make the other archer earn the victory.
The 13-year-old O’Donohue brought home a silver medal in her first outdoor 50 meter and first international tournament, shooting with 15 and 17-year-olds. Next up for the silver medalist is the NASP Open Championship at the end of June with her Benton Tiger teammates, then on to the Junior Olympic Archery Development Outdoor Target Nationals in July in Decatur, Alabama.
As the Alicia Keys song goes, this girl is on fire!