Bull’s-eye: After A Long Journey, Krystofosky Becomes National Archery Champion
LARKSVILLE — Ed Krystofosky’s journey toward a national championship in archery was not an easy one.
But, it’s been fulfilled.
Having overcome a few bumps along the road, the 57-year-old Krystofosky won a title in February in the men’s master barebow category at USA Archery’s National Indoor Championships in Lancaster.
Krystofosky, a former Penn State football walk-on who played in two Blue-White games in the early-1980s, set a national record in the process, earning 1,093 of a possible 1,200 points.
“To make it as a walk-on at that point was just beyond explanation,” Krystofosky said. “I kind of feel the same way (now). It kind of put me right back in the same feeling of, ‘Hey, I’m older, but at least I could still do things.’”
Krystofosky is a Valley West graduate. His original outdoors passion was hunting, which led to archery.
Krystofosky said he’s shot “close to 40 deer” with a bow, but he hasn’t hunted in a few years.
Instead, he spends plenty of time practicing — mostly at The Archery Zone in Larksville, an archery sales, service and instruction shop he’s owned since 1998.
“Lots of practice,” he said. “I shoot almost every day.”
By 2009, Krystofosky was a state champion several times over, beating the likes of friend and current Team USA member John Demmer.
However, that’s about when Krystofosky ran into the hurdle of target panic, similar to “the yips” in golf.
“It’s totally mental,” Krystofosky said. “I was firing before I’d even get my arrow on the target. It got so bad that I was struggling to get it on to the target and even shoot.”
Krystofosky tried many different methods and talked with several experts, eventually curing his target panic and reaching new heights in his archery career.
Recurve barebow archers, such as Krystofosky, don’t have the benefits of today’s technology.
The barebow features no stabilizers or other helpful devices, as it’s the most stripped-back category in competitive archery.
“It’s still the most primitive form,” Krystofosky said. “No sights, no releases, no anything. It’s just you and the bow and an arrow.”
Krystofosky’s crowning achievement came at last month’s U.S. National Indoor Championships.
Competitors shoot at a target from about 59 feet away, hoping to score a 10 inside the bull’s-eye, nine in the first ring outside, eight in the next, and so on.
Krystofosky’s two-round total was 1,093, equating to an average 9.11 score. The second-place finisher shot 1,056, about 8.8 per shot.
Krystofosky was back in action this weekend at the National Indoor Final in Cincinnati, Ohio, with his wife Janine, who’s also a state champion archer.
Going forward, Krystofosky said his confidence in the sport is at an all-time high.
“It boosted my spirits and made me feel like, now, I’ve got a direction again and something besides work to look forward to,” he said of the national title. “Hopefully, it’ll lead to a little bit more.”
Krystofosky and the staff at The Archery Zone, including USA Archery Coach Jerry Gronchick, instruct many classes at the 35 Wilson St. location for beginners, as well as people at the intermediate and more advanced levels of archery.
Training starts at $50 per session. For more information, call the Archery Zone at 570-287-1421.
Contact the writer:
@CVBufano on Twitter