Amy Sowash 2005-06 Player Journal

Amy Sowash
Junior Amy Sowash will be keeping a player journal for ukathletics.com during the course of the 2005-06 season. The entries appear below - the most recent will be at the top.

October: 7 | 13 | 21
November: 2 | 16
December: 5
January: 13 | 20 | 27
February: 2 | 10
March: 3 | 8

March 8, 2006
This is it. NCAA championships are this week. As we leave tomorrow, I have spent much of my time reflecting on our accomplishments and hard work this season. Although I am nervous about the match right now, I feel good about what we have done. I am excited about this week and our potential for great success. I canít wait to see how we excel in both the match and the announcement of the All-Americans.

I have been nervous for a couple of days now. I have tried lots of different ways to abate the feeling. I have also worked hard on my approach to my last week of practice. Despite the fact that I have felt odd on the range lately, I think the week has been exactly what I want it to be. My teammates have contributed greatly to the feeling of preparedness and I can see a difference in the passion coach has for us lately. Itís incredible. Everyoneís spirit and pride have been heightened.

When we fly out tomorrow, I know that everyone will have done everything possible to make this trip the best it can be. I think that confidence will be one of the most powerful tools I have in aiding my own successes. Wish us luck and a safe trip!

Go CATS!!!

March 3, 2006
We just took third at GARC!!! Jason (Dardas) even won the smallbore and combined awards. Congratulations! Our conference is really strong. Several of the teams weíll be competing against at nationals were there. I know weíre going to do even better at nationals. Our team is solid this year. The year has gone so fast. I canít believe weíre already at the end of the season.

Everyone on our team is going to nationals. Itís going to be great to have the rest of the team there to support us. I canít imagine having a match without all of them there. I think it will really help me stay calm which is really important because I get nervous at big matches!

Everyone is trying to work out what weíre wearing to banquets and on the plane this week. Who knew clothing could be so hard to decide on? I love going places and seeing us all dressed the same; it really makes me feel like weíre unified. Last week at the GARC banquet we all wore suits and blue shirts. We looked so pretty!

Lately the weather has been so warm in Kentucky. I havenít had to wear a coat to class most days. I love the south! Class has been okay lately. Iíve had tests the past two weeks, so Iíve been working hard to keep up before we fly out to Colorado for nationals. Right after nationals we have spring break, so I donít want to get behind. This week we donít have an official match, so I have lots of time to devote to school.

Go CATS!!!!

Feburary 10, 2006
NCAA qualifiers are finally here. After a wonderful team performance last week, I think the outlook is really great. I canít wait to see how well we do. I can tell thereís been an increase in intensity and awareness of how fantastic we are going to do this year. The range is full of motivated, focused, and excited people.

This weekend is Dance Blue, a major fundraiser that all of UK has gotten involved in. It involves a dance marathon, which I will not be dancing in. I decided that raising money for it was a better way for me to contribute rather than looking crazy all night on a dance floor without rhythm. The fundraiser has been incredibly successful on all levels, which is really exciting for the kids weíre supporting.

Next week I have tests in every class. Iím not terribly worried about any of them, mostly because all of the classes I have are political science and I have taken so many before. Theyíre getting to be less stressful and becoming more of an affirmation that I really will graduate in a year.

Iím truly proud of how everyone has worked this year. I know there are going to be some great successes this weekend. Wish us luck! GO CATS!!!

Feburary 2, 2006
We won the Withrow Invitational which was a great confidence booster. We beat a couple of teams in our conference there. Our numbers werenít quite as good as the week before, but they were still pretty decent. I was so nervous and didnít shoot nearly as well as I hoped, but I did some training exercises this week to try to combat those feelings. Coach and I have also talked a lot about success and goals this week. I think that we are on the right path to shooting some fabulous numbers.

I got sick this week so practice has been sort of cloudy. My eyes are watering and I keep sneezing. But I am definitely getting better. I think that I will feel much healthier by Saturday. We are competing against Ole Miss and Rose Hulman this week.

This coming weekend should be really fun. We have lots of spectators showing up. I know there are some parents and I have heard several team members say they had friends coming. Our big group is going to be a 4-H club, I think. Weíre working on getting lots and lots of chairs for them to sit and watch. Lately we have had so many spectators, its good to see how the campus and community have really become involved. Not many other teams we visit have as much support and as many people show up as we do. You can really see that we arenít overlooked. Having the spectators will be great when we come out with two wins!


January 27, 2006
Season high!!! We shot the best last weekend that we have all year. After a week of really hard work it was great to see everybody be so successful. I think there was a lot of relief in knowing we finally accomplished something we knew we could do. Iím really proud of what everyone did.

Our athletic picnic was great. Vicki and I had a blast playing on the inflatable jungle gyms and racing each other. I was sore from laughing so much the next day. At one point I was laughing too hard to move and got stuck halfway up the slide, while she was already past the finish line. The tug oí war contest went just about as well for me. I fell down in that too! T.J. and Eric were hysterical trying to beat each other in the bungee cord inflatable. Every time they got to the end of the rope they would get snapped back to the beginning. The food was yummy and the t-shirts are good-looking as well.

I donít have any exams until mid-February, which makes it so much easier to balance my schedule. Right now all I have to do is keep up with reading and notes. Taking notes in one of my classes has turned out to be awfully difficult. After two days of not being able to write fast enough, I finally took my laptop to class. Itís much easier; I just donít know how anyone else is writing all of that down!

This weekend we shoot at Murray in the Withrow invitational. Having shot there several times, I feel comfortable going there to shoot. I am confident that after this week of hard work and focus, we will do just as well at Murray.
Go CATS!!!

January 20, 2006
Our first home match this semester is against Xavier. Since I am from Richmond that means my mom gets to come up and watch. Itís nice to have family come to see what we do because they hear so much about it. Most of the places weíve gone this year have been close to someoneís family, bringing us extra support. Our team has worked incredibly hard this week. I think itís really going to show in our match against Xavier. Everyone has also been really positive about this weekend.

Classes this semester are certainly interesting. I really like one of my classes and two of the others are extremely participatory. Weíve had debates in them everyday, which is unusual for the second week of classes. I do not miss my eight oíclock classes. Nine oíclock seems so much later and I love it!

On Sunday, the athletic department is having a picnic for all of the student athletes. We usually have it at the beginning of the fall semester, but this year itís more of a welcome back picnic. As a member of SAAC, I also get to be more involved in things like this. Iím really excited because the picnic has great food, fun t-shirts, and silly games. I remember my freshman year when TJ had to ride a Big Wheel around the track in a race! Iím sure this year will be just as hilarious.

January 13, 2006
WELCOME BACK!!! I hope everyoneís holidays were wonderful. Although the break was fun, itís nice to come back to practice and classes. I have been to all of my new classes already, but am looking forward most to my Constitutional Law class because the majority of our reading is over Supreme Court cases. I always like the theory and process classes better than the ones about regions of the world. Despite my light course load, there is still an extensive amount of reading to do for every class.

Practice has been long, but productive and fun since we came back. Having a few days of all practice and no class was really beneficial. Without the distraction of school work it is much easier to focus on shooting tens. Coach came up with some new competitive drills that turned out to be challenging and exciting for everyone. I certainly feel more prepared for this weekend.

The Palmyra Invitational is this weekend. We get to go shoot at Vickiís home club, adding a little extra pride to the competition for us. I like competing there because everyone is always so nice. Itís also really close to Hershey, and some of the lights in town are shaped like Hersheyís Kisses! Itís Vickiís senior year, so Iíd really like to come back with a win for her. This year we get to fly to Palmyra instead of taking the big blue vans. Itís a loooong drive there; flying will make the trip much easier, especially since we usually hit a snowstorm on the way up or down. Hopefully, it will help bring us our first win of 2006!


December 5, 2005
So much has happened since last time I wrote! We went to Nebraska, had Thanksgiving, and some of us went to Colorado while some went to West Virginia. Now we are getting ready to start finals next week as the semester wraps up. Weíve had some really exciting things happen; we beat WVU and Jason, Ray, and I all made finals out in Colorado!!! I couldnít ask for a better ending to this semester. I just got home from CO, so I am still giddy from all of our success.

Itís hard to come home and write papers, all psyched up and ready for more practice and matches. I canít wait for January to start. Weíve traveled so much lately; it will feel funny to be home for a couple of weeks. Most of my projects are done this week and I donít really have a lot of finals, so my semester really is almost over. I have really calmed down and stopped stressing out, which is great.

I usually stress all the way through finals, but this year I have got everything under control. I think part of that is just having done the end of the semester cramming so many times that this year I have managed to avoid that because itís not fun.

I want to wish all my December birthday teammates happy days! Also Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all! See you in the New Year!

Go CATS!!!

November 16, 2005
Yeah!!! Another win. We beat Murray and then headed to JSU in Alabama which was a quick turnaround. We didnít win in Alabama, but we had some really positive things happen in both air and smallbore, so this weekend at Nebraska looks really good. It should be a tough match, so I am working hard to correct mistakes made at JSU. Parentís Weekend went really well; we had almost everyoneís parents show up! I didnít get to go bowling because my research paper took up my day, but I hear there was some pretty stiff competition. The support we receive is incredible to see, especially since we have so many people from so many different places.

Riding in the vans was pretty fun this past weekend. We played a lot of games together since not too many people were sleeping and the space is small enough that all of us can hear each other talk, unlike a plane. It made the trip go by so fast, which was great because I get sick if I study in the car.

Iíve been trying to get really involved in organizations on campus lately because Iím really feeling the clock tick with only a year and a half left. There are so many clubs and events to be a part of and time has gone by so quickly! So this week I have had a couple of extra meetings to go to, just trying things out. Being able to get involved in just about anything I can think of is one of my favorite things about UK. Next week, maybe Iíll be able to tell you how the Wildcats beat the HuskersÖ.


November 2, 2005
It was pretty cold up in Alaska, but we all thawed out and made it home okay. Not coming home with a win was pretty disappointing, but we did perform pretty well, beating them in smallbore the first day. Alaska is so pretty to visit, but I love coming home to warm weather and horse country. We got to go to a hockey game, which is the second best sport ever (shooting is first)! Fairbanks played Michigan, who was ranked number one and beat them. It was an incredible game. We also got to see more of the countryside because we went out to visit Alaskaís coach and he lives pretty far outside of the city. Iím really glad I am part of a team that gets to compete against some of the other top teams in the nation. It gives me a chance to see what I am up against outside of Kentucky.

Traveling on the plane took a long time, but it allowed me to get some studying done and it also gave me a chance to just talk shooting with some of my teammates. Thatís one of the best parts of traveling, just getting to collaborate on shooting strategies because we had a whole day of airport time.

We were also on TV this week which was awesome. I got to talk to the camera which is pretty exciting and some of our parents taped the show so we can watch it later. I think itís really good for people to understand more of our sport and being on TV is a great way to do that. Having practice super early so we could be live on the news was neat because it left me with extra hours in my day to be productive. I didnít even get tired! After talking with coach and some of my teammates, I think things will go really well in practice this week. I think the experience we had in Alaska was motivating in a lot of ways. I noticed even today how people were different in practice. I am looking forward to seeing what we accomplish this week and do in the coming match against Murray State. It is family weekend for us, so hopefully we will put on a good showing for our parents.

October 21, 2005
Finally, a break from all the chaos! My life has calmed down; fewer tests, less homework, and no match against another team this week. We beat Ohio State last weekend which was great. It seemed like everyone felt down about some part of their match, even though we won. I was disappointed with the way I shot and the way I prepared for the match, but it gave me a chance to really look at the way I was training and change some things for the better.

Having our first away match was fun. We got to ride in the Big Blue Vans. Yeah! I slept most of the way because riding in the car makes me nauseous. I was awake long enough to feed my van happy birthday cupcakes (even though the not so rapid acceleration was rough on the frosting) and to see Crystal looking miniature driving the other big van. We also got to spend some quality time in the hotel together, and even more waiting for dinner. I forgot to take any books to study because coming back from the wedding took longer than expected when we got lost. Our next trip is to Alaska which will be totally different from this one because we will be gone so much longer. The Ohio State match is probably our shortest because itís only three hours away.

Since we have already had three matches and weíve been on the road, it seems like the freshmen have adapted quickly and theyíre already upperclassmen. Itís about time for the early signing period, which is in November, which means weíre getting ready to add new freshmen for next year!

Weíre getting pretty excited about hearing officially from people and finding out about whoís going to be here next year.

Even though the match this weekend is just against us, I think itís going to be really positive. Next time I write, it will be from the frozen land of Alaska, and hopefully weíll be 3-1 instead of 2-1.

October 13, 2005
This week has been super eventful. First, we did fabulous in our first two matches. We beat Memphis, and had a pretty awesome score on Monday. What a great way to start the week! We didnít beat Army, but I think everyone was glad to have the first match over with. We also changed the way we divided up practice and I think it is going to be much better for our air rifle. I think adding more practice in air rifle will make me feel more comfortable because we were only practicing twice a week for it. It just felt uneven in relation to smallbore and theyíre equally weighted in points in matches.

I managed to survive my first two really hard midterms, even though I stayed up almost all night for the second one, which is why my back hurts. Take it from me; you shouldnít spend over four hours on the floor with your laptop typing. It will make you very ouchy the next dayÖ.now on to happier things. Friday is my birthday (Yeah!) and Bradley, one of our old teammates, is getting married then too (Congratulations!). So after I finish my midterms and practice tomorrow, I am rushing to Louisville to celebrate both. Sometimes I wish there were more girls on the team. All the boys get off so easy with just having to wear suits. There are so many options for wedding attire for girls! Weíve been deciding for days and days. Pretty much the whole team is going, and we all have to be back early the next day to leave for Ohio State University. Our match on Sunday doesnít have me nearly as worried and it isnít just because they arenít defending national champs. I really trust my team to perform well this year. I think that confidence in them is important for me to do well too. Even though not everybody is performing exactly where we thought they would be, I still have the utmost faith in all of them. I noticed how everyone seemed to get right to business this week too, like the first couple matches made us even more focused and excited.

Go Big Blue!!

October 7, 2005
WOOOHOOO!!!! Our first match is finally here. Tomorrow we shoot against Army, which is a pretty big match for us because they won NCAAs last year and they are in our conference. Monday we shoot against Memphis, so this weekend is pretty busy for us. It seems like we are starting to shoot right in the middle of all my exams this year. My life has been total chaos this week because I have three midterms next week! I have spent so much time reading cases for my International Law class Ö I feel like a lawyer already.

Iím really excited about this weekend because I think our team has been sooo positive this year and weíve worked hard this week. Our two freshmen (Andrew Roland and Jason Dardas) are shooting in the morning with me this weekend, and just remembering my first match is making me nervous for them! My first match was an away match which was really nerve racking because I was afraid I would forget something. I did. I discovered I was missing my sling when we were setting up. I had to borrow one from the other team! I know theyíre going to do an awesome job though; both of them are really talented and competitive.

This year is going to be really different from my last two years, both in training and with the team. Iíve been doing a lot more mental focusing and training which is helping my scores, but itís making my life so much more complicated. Itís been really time consuming and balancing school has been hard. Iíve been playing catch up too much lately.

This yearís team chemistry has been incredible. Everyone seems to get along and we truly hang out as friends on and off the range. I think weíre really pulling together and pushing and supporting each other. Weíre also having lots of fun with each other; I will never forget Ray wearing bunny ears and Vicki in her sheriffís hat at last weekendís fun match (we were all in funny hats to lighten everyoneís nerves for this week). Too bad Army wonít get to see those intimidating sights! Go CATS!!!

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