We recently received this note from our friend Jason Jones and wanted to share...
Hopefully, the next time I write to you it will be about a world champion...
Austin's quest to win the IBO Triple Crown and become the National Champion in the physically challenged bowhunter class got off to another shaky start. We wound up getting an unexpected hotel room on Friday night, due to getting an incredibly late start. When we got to our room, room number 324, I said to Austin " that's what you ought to shoot this weekend.
We got to the shoot at Chapman State Park in Pennsylvania in time to register and sight in. It only took three shots for Austin's confidence level to skyrocket. Confidence that comes from using great equipment and working with great companies. Once the competition started Austin was in the "Zone", he finished with his best score ever. He shot six 10's and nine 11's for a score of 159, putting him 9 up on the day.
We talked that night about how 324 was unattainable, for it would take a perfect round. Of course, Austin always endeavors for perfection, whether it is in archery, his friendships or his faith. He knows we aren't perfect, but sometimes we are blessed and perform beyond our wildest expectations. Austin shot fifteen 11's in a row for a perfect round and the IBO National Championship.
On February 17th, 2003 Austin went into respiratory failure due to his Muscular Dystrophy. We were seconds from his story ending that day, and we were on edge for the next 45 days until we brought him home from the hospital. We didn't know what the future held. We knew that it would never be the same, Austin was now on 24 hours a day life support and in a wheelchair.
Austin never once complained. He has spent his life doing what he can for everyone he can. In high school in addition to graduating with a 3.788 GPA in 2014 and being the Homecoming King, he organized three benefit basketball games with Wheelin' Team 457 to benefit people he didn't even know. Since graduating he has given away seven archery setups to share his love of the outdoors. He wants everyone to experience what Mother Nature has to offer. He wants to inspire others to get out there.
On Thursday, August 11th the IBO World Championships begin Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. That night Austin shoots in The Best of the Best, all the national champions from all classes in a single elimination shoot out. Then Friday he is going to put his Vanguard to work, round one of the Worlds. Hopefully, Austin will be holing up his first World Champion buckle come Sunday afternoon.