Lancaster – 20-year-old Kelsey Taylor is spending her first semester at Ohio University Lancaster like most other students, going to class, studying and taking tests. But, the biggest test of Taylor's life is still ahead. She plans to try out for the U.S. Olympic Archery team and hopes to represent the U.S. in the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.
"I've been shooting with the Junior Olympic team in Columbus for the last few years," said Taylor. "I've placed first in the state in my age group for the last three years."
According to rio2016.com, archery is practiced individually and in teams of three. The objective is to get the arrows as close as possible to the center of the target. Women started to participate in the sport at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, making archery one of the first sports to involve women in the Olympics.
Taylor grew up in McConnelsville in Morgan County and started shooting at Morgan High School. She recently transferred to OUL from Hocking College to pursue an associate's degree in Deaf Studies and Interpreting.
"OUL is a small environment. Everyone knows everyone," said Taylor. "You are a name and not a number. So, that's nice."
Even though school is her focus right now, archery is a part of her daily life.
"Time and practice make you good at it. It's all about repetition," said Taylor. "You have to do the same thing over and over again every time."
Taylor's Junior Olympic team will start its indoor archery season in October. The team is helping keep Taylor on her toes and prepared for what's ahead.
"We go to tournaments and we practice Olympics styles, what they would shoot in the Olympics," said Taylor. "Most kids who get into it, the end goal is to try to make the Olympic team."
As 2016 gets closer, Taylor has been looking into what she will need to do in order to make the U.S. Olympic team. Three men and three women are selected to represent the U.S. in archery.
"This summer I was very fortunate to go out to California to the Olympic Training Center and shoot with some of the Olympians on the line and I was like 'Ya'll don't miss," said Taylor. "I need to step my game up and continue on the practice regimen. Anything can happen. It would be amazing to be able to go represent the U.S. on the Olympic team."