By Mike Beas
Being referred to as a straight shooter is never a bad thing, especially if you’re Danica Wiseman.
A senior at Plainfield High School, Wiseman knows her way around a bow and arrow having put in the work required to become one of the nation’s top archers, particularly for her age.
So established is Wiseman that she earned the right to take part in the United States Olympic Trials in Malvern, Pennsylvania, some 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia, from August 30 through September 3.
And though Wiseman won’t be representing the red, white and blue once the 2024 Olympic Games commence in Paris, France, on July 26, 2024, the experience proved invaluable.
“I shot a personal-best for myself, but I did not end up making the cut,” said Wiseman, 17. “It was a great experience. I was able to meet a lot of people, and I like meeting people.”
This wasn’t always the case.
Prior to first becoming interested in archery through 4-H as a 12-year-old, Wiseman leaned more in the direction of being introverted. The more success she began having attempting to direct arrows toward bullseyes from a variety of distances, the more Wiseman’s personality evolved.
Her first archery competition took place a couple weeks before turning 14.Aa
“She came home one day, and said she was going to shoot archery,” said Danica’s mother, Lisa Wiseman. “I think I said, ‘We’re not archers. What are you talking about?’
“Confidence is definitely one way it’s helped her grow. And I would say she’s become more social. It’s empowering because she has total control over how she performs. Her work shows her outcome.”
The youngest of Aaron and Lisa Wiseman’s four children has elevated her skillset to where she is part of various organizations pertaining to archery – one being the Pine Hill Prodigies, a club based in Danville.
Wiseman is presently immersed in her so-called off-season, which began in August and runs through December. This involves going to the gym every day in order to maintain strength and overall cardiovascular fitness.
From January to July, Wiseman’s hectic schedule as a seasoned archer sometimes includes competing twice in the same weekend.
“You really have to focus and practice,” said Wiseman. “I’ll get up about 5 in the morning and practice before school at Pine Hill Archery Club in Danville. Or, if it’s after school, I go to the Outdoorsman Sports Shop in Greenwood.”
Wiseman, who holds a weighted grade-point average of 4.0 at Plainfield High School, has been offered by 18 colleges or universities to be part of their archery program. She’s narrowed the list to “four or five.”
Whatever school she attends, Wiseman looks to major in biology and minor in Spanish.
Looking ahead, Wiseman plans to be part of the 2028 U.S. Olympic Trials as a 21-year old (the Summer Games are in Los Angeles), the 2032 trials as a 25-year old (Brisbane, Australia), and perhaps beyond.
“Archery is a lifetime sport,” she said. “It’s extremely difficult, about 70-percent mental and 30-percent physical. You can have all the physical strength, but if you don’t have a good mental state, you’re not going to win.”