Wednesday, February 25, 2004 Updated: February 26, 3:02 PM ET
Gillingham's run is just perfect
By Steve Wright Great Outdoor Games staff Feb. 25, 2004
Tim Gillingham, left, forced Rod White to concede the match with a perfect run in the final round.
BOULDER CITY, Nev. Temperatures dipping in the 40s and rain that alternated between drizzle and downpour didn't bother Tim Gillingham Sunday night. In fact, the 39-year-old archer from Orem, Utah, considers such conditions help rather than hindrance.
"I grew up in Wyoming and Alaska," Gillingham said. "It's not fun to shoot in this kind of weather, but I'm used to it. I feel like that's an advantage for me."
Gillingham proved that by posting a perfect score of 45 points against Rod White in the finals to win the ESPN Great Outdoors Games archery-qualifying event.
Unlike the rifle and shotgun competitions also held here over the weekend, in which only the top qualifier earned an automatic spot in this summer's Great Outdoors Games, the top five finishers in archery qualified for the Games. That helped Gillingham keep shooting with confidence when the rain finally stopped during the final match against White, who is from Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, and has earned both gold and bronze Olympic archery medals.
"I just wanted to get qualified," said Gillingham, who shot more accurately as the competition progressed. "That was the big thing. I was pretty settled down after I knew I'd qualified."
Gillingham put the pressure on White early in the final match by hitting the smaller, higher-valued targets at each station. White had no chance to catch up by the final station and conceded the match as Gillingham was finishing his perfect run.
By finishing second, White also qualified for the Games this summer. He won a bronze medal at the Great Outdoor Games in 2001 and this will mark his fourth year in a row as a competitor.
Other qualifiers included Wayne Endicott of Springfield, Ore., (third place); Mack Herring of Kent, Ohio, (fourth place); and Darin Mack of Arondale, Pa., (fifth place).
Because no female competitor finished in the top five, there were actually six qualifiers in this event. Ginger Hopwood of Marietta, Ga., earned that spot.