PORTLAND – Kendal Nicely of Gorham hasn’t been able to practice her archery as much because of her college studies toward a nursing degree, but the 20-year-old still hasn’t lost her world championship form.

As Nicely’s license plate “Bulz-I” proclaims, she’s been able to zero in on her target in world competition. And this: Her car is yellow, just like the bull’s-eye.

“It’s more mental than physical,” said Nicely of the key to shooting in world championships. “You have to be focused and steady.”

Nicely was certainly that in late August in Legnica, Poland. Nicely won her second individual world title in the compound junior women’s division. In the process, she eclipsed the world record for the 15-arrow match with 148 points. Nicely beat Inge Van Caspel of The Netherlands in the gold medal round.

“I went out with a bang,” said Nicely. “It was a good win.”

The next time she competes, sometime next summer most likely, she’ll be in the senior women’s division, which is 21 and over. Nicely turns 21 in February.

Nicely has competed off and on in senior women’s since she was 16; rules allow competitors to step up in competition. Prize money is offered in the senior division.

Nicely has competed in some prize money events, including one in Las Vegas where the top prize was $15,000. She finished sixth and won $1,000.

Nicely has won a host of titles as a junior, both in individual and team competition. Before Poland, she spent 10 days competing in Shenzhen, China, in the University Games. Nicely won silver medals in individual and mixed team. She prepared for the competitions by shooting an hour per day before she left.

She was thrilled with her world title for a couple of reasons. First, it was her last one in the junior women’s division and second, she wasn’t able to spend her usual practice time, which also includes gym workouts, because of school at the University of New England.

She also works at New England Rehabilitation Hospital as a certified nursing assistant. In two years she’ll have her bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“I enjoy caring for people,” said Nicely. “I like the hands-on aspect of nursing.”

Nicely began archery at age 3 at her family’s range at their Gorham home. Her father, Matt, was a hunter with bows and arrows. He started Kendal and her older sister, Brenna, in archery. The girls did well in tourneys.

While Kendal’s interest grew, her sister stopped competing after high school. Brenna, a Bowdoin College graduate, is pursuing a master’s degree in theater at Central Florida University.

The family runs Nicely Equipped Archery in South Gorham.

While Kendal loves competing in tournaments, she made it clear she’s not into hunting.

Since high school, Nicely has logged more air time than some Fortune 500 executives. Her parents, Matt and Darcy, would take turns traveling with her. For the trip to Poland, her father accompanied her. When she turns 21, she likely will travel by herself.

“Kendal has been to nine countries and she probably flies to places in the United States for tournaments six or seven times a year,” said her mother. “Kendal has the ability to block everything out when she’s competing.”

Nicely isn’t guaranteed a spot on the U.S. team for world tournaments. Each time, she has to qualify.

Now that she’s in the senior category, the costs of her trips will be defrayed by U.S. Archery and her sponsors, Hoyt’s Bows and Easton Sports.

“I hope to shoot for as long as I can. My next goal is to make the USA senior team.”

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

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Twitter: TomChardPPH