Callie Gallant learned that last year. The Poland senior was hoping to make the U.S. Archery Team. Instead of achieving her goal she missed it — by that much.

Gallant fell one spot short of making the team.

“It was really disappointing last year because I thought I was going to make the team,” said Gallant. “When it came out and I didn’t make it, I was really disappointed. It definitely made me strive more this year to make the team.”

Gallant’s sad experience from last year has been topped by this year’s success. She was recently named to the USAT squad and attained the goal she had barely missed a year ago.

“It’s a great achievement,” said Gallant. “It’s something I worked hard to achieve. It’s great to finally be able to say I’m part of the team.”

The archers are scored on three mandatory shoots that happen over the course of the summer. They included the Outdoor Nationals and two other events.

“All your scores are combined and the top five in each category are picked for the team,” said Gallant.

Being on the team allows competitors to represent the country in various events, including international competitions. Gallant is in the Cadet category now but hopes to challenge for a spot on the higher level next year.

“We may do international shoots but as a cadet we don’t get that much of an opportunity,” said Gallant, who noted that the U. S. Team may help with some funding for events but not always.

Gallant started becoming active in competitive shooting after watching her brother. Both Adam Gallant and Callie learned the skills of archery from their father, Jeff Gallant, an avid bow hunter. Adam started shooting competitively when he was in grade school.

He’s had a successful career and is currently competing on a pro circuit.  He was a member of the USAT ranks himself and yielded many championships while shooting for Texas A&M. His younger sister shared in his experiences extensively when she as younger and couldn’t help but follow his lead.

“I started do it when he left for college,” said Gallant. “It had always been my life, but when he left for college, it wasn’t there anymore. So I wanted to do it. So I took it up my freshman year in high school.”

Gallant says she fell in love with the sport but also learned greatly from her brother’s experiences.

“I just knew what doors had opened up for my brother,” said Gallant. “So that kind of drove me a little further to want to compete and get on the U.S. Team. It was a great achievement path, and I really wanted to follow in my brother’s footsteps.”

Among Gallant’s other career highlights is a state record set at the NFAA Indoor States this year. She also was awarded the Shooter of the Year in her age division. Last winter, she became a Gold Olympian at the Indoor Junior Olympian Archery Development Nationals. She won gold and was the National Champion.

She’s also competed in Field Archery, a challenge competition in which shooters are in the woods and fire four arrows at four varying targets. She took second in her first try at an event Pennsylvania. She also set a state record in NFAA Field Archery this summer.

This past weekend, she was involved at Central Maine Archery teaching younger shooters the finer points of the sport.

“It really is a great sport,” said Gallant. “We grow so close together. Your team becomes your family. Your competitors become some of your best friends, even though we live across the country from each other. I know personally all the girls I shoot against are amazing girls. We don’t become rude to one another when competing. We joke around and just have a good time. It really is what the whole sport is about, doing something you are passionate about. At the end of the day, the only person you can truly beat is yourself.”

Gallant is thinking about attending UNH. They have a nursing program and an archery team.

Next on her list of goals is the World Trials. She has attempted to make the team in previous years but came up short. She has her sights set on that milestone now.

“It makes me realize that if I put my heart into it , and I set my mind to it, I can definitely achieve it,” said Gallant. “I really want to make the World Team. So that definitely going to be my goal this summer before I go off to college.”

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