A Junior Olympian's Climb to the Top

By  | 

RENO, NV - If archery is 90% mental, then 17-year-old Devin Wright has one of the sharpest minds in the sport.

KOLO 8 News Now's Angela Chen found the Bishop Manogue High School senior at the school's Mr. Manogue Pageant. Wright has only three years of experience, but he's already ranked number one in the state. He placed first at the Nevada State Indoor Tournament in his age group.

"Devin is a competitor, so he came in here when we first opened, and he was like ok 'I want to shoot competitively,'" said Lystra Pitts, Devin's instructor and owner of Wasting Arrows in Reno. "He has an immense amount of drive and physical ability, and all the archers in the local area, all the adults, watch him shoot and go 'Wow, he's amazing.'"

Pitts said that the way Devin is going, landing a spot on the U.S. archery team could very well be in the future.

Devin said it all comes down to one thing: practice.

"You have to be willing to put the time in and practice. You can't really take a day off," said Devin.

He strings up for practice at least 15 hours a week and said it all started when his mom got him a hunting bow. Devin said he felt an affinity with the bow the first time he shot it.

"It was just the cool fact that it was so much closer than shooting something with a rifle," said Devin.

"When I got him his first bow, I really didn't know what he was capable of," said Liz Wright, Devin's mother.

"Then my garage became a straw bale area, and I was like, 'Don't put holes in my wall!' It was quite a start."

This dedication is what sets him apart from the flock, like people who only started shooting after seeing Katniss in The Hunger Games.

That's not to say Devin hasn't had his fun with it.

He showcased his skill, much to the delight of the crowds at the Mr. Manogue Pageant just a week ago.

Next year, Devin is set to go to UNR where he wants to study to become a large animal vet.

Devin is also a Silver Olympian in the Junior Olympics Archery Development program, which can ultimately feed into the U.S. Archery Olympic Team.