Hilltop resident hits the bullseye

By Sarah Slayman
Staff Writer

Messenger photo by Sarah Slayman
Hilltop resident Melissa Reed heads to the World Axe Throwing League World Championship this April.

Melissa Reed has a newfound passion for axe throwing and is paving the way for women in the sport as she heads to the World Axe Throwing League Championship this April.

Within two years of throwing her first axe, Reed has developed her skills enough to be drafted to global competition. In March of 2022, the Hilltop resident traveled to Tennessee with her husband, Ray, to spend time with family and decided to casually go throwing for the night. They had so much fun that upon returning home, they began searching for a local place to enjoy together. Reed and Ray joined another couple at Throw Nation in Dublin, the only World Axe Throwing League certified venue in Columbus. Reed took the first throw and nailed the bullseye. A nearby coach noticed and encouraged her to join a league. She and Ray returned the following week and haven’t looked back since.

Reed has lived on the Hilltop for the past 28 years. She and her husband have spent the last few decades raising their children and spending their nights shuffling kids to and from practices. This was now something for them.

As Reed continued showing up to participate in various leagues and competitions, one thing became clear – she was out numbered. At times, Reed was the only woman in the game, and she initially found that intimidating. Over time though, she noticed just how welcoming the throwing community was, and became a voice that inspired other women to push past any presuppositions they had and enjoy the sport with her competitively.

The number of women participating at the venue continues to grow, and Reed has found herself leading an all women league weekly on Thursday nights.

“It is so special to me to be on a team full of women,” she said.

Reed particularly enjoys watching the process of different women coming in, learning they’re good at something, and excelling.

Outside of her success in growing the community’s diversity, Reed has scored exceptionally. She has been participating in competitions since 2022, and due to her high performance, was drafted to compete in the World Axe Throwing League Championship April 18-21. The competition will take place in Tulsa, Okla. where she will travel with seven other Throw Nation members to complete.

“It’s still so hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I’m one of the best in the world and accomplished that in less than two years,” said Reed.

In preparation, Reed is finding herself on site six nights a week. She said she has immense support from her Throw Nation community, and that greatly contributes to the narrative of community being the crux of this sport to her.

“It’s family to me,” she said.

For more information on Throw Nation or to participate in axe throwing, visit thrownation.com.

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