Plainfield North High School sophomore Dana Janiec beat 23 women in all divisions to win the state archery championship for Overall Female Compound Bow on August 11, 2019 at the DuPage County Fair Grounds.
Janiec took the gold medal in the Junior Olympic Archery Development in March 2018. Now she has raised the bar.
Competing on stage in a World Archery format in August was nerve-racking, she said.
“Going in, I was really unsure of how I was going to do because I knew there were people who were older than me and younger kids that were also very good,” Janiec said.
The tournament can include participants from 8 to 108 years old, although all the actual participants were 70 years old or younger.
Janiec survived a series of elimination rounds against competitors of all ages.
She earned a silver medal during qualifications and finished in the top eight to advance to the championship. She was in the youngest age group able to participate at 50 meters and beat out women older and more experienced than her.
Janiec, who got her start with archery eight years ago, learned a lot from her team, T.A.Z. JOAD in Woodstock, IL, and her coach Tim Zimmerman, she said.
And while the skills she learned from her team and coach ultimately helped her earn the gold medal, it was the support of her friends that meant the most.
“They helped me through it and calmed my nerves. I think that was one of the biggest things that helped me get through to my gold medal match.”