Department of Fish and Wildlife
National Archery in the Schools state tournament draws record number of archers
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Something about Elizabeth Wagoner caught her coach’s attention on the bus ride to the Kentucky International Convention Center for the 2015 National Archery in the Schools (NASP) state tournament.
“She had that look in her eye,” said Tom Patterson, coach of Trigg County High School’s archery team. “I told her, ‘Today is your day.’”
Wagoner took it from there.
On Thursday, the junior won the girl’s overall individual title with a score of 294 and helped the Arrowcats to the team championship in the tournament’s high school division. Graves County sophomore Dustin Johnson finished one point shy of a perfect score of 300 and won the boy’s overall individual title for the second consecutive year.
The two-day tournament for elementary, middle school and high school students drew a record 4,230 archers representing 227 schools. It was the 14th NASP state tournament held in Kentucky since the program started in 2001.
“We had over 11,000 kids register for our regional tournaments. That’s up a little more than 1,000 from last year,” said Patrick O’Connell, state NASP coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. “We’ve reached our capacity on the number of archers that we can register for the state tournament, but every year the number of those showing up creeps a little higher.”
Archers competed for individual and team awards. After practice rounds, each competitor shot 15 arrows from 10 meters and 15 arrows from 15 meters, for a total possible score of 300 points.
All but one of Johnson’s arrows hit the 10-ring bull’s eye for a score of 299.
“Somebody shot a 298 the first day,” he said. “I just knew I couldn’t mess up but once.”
Madison Central High School junior Bradley Long and East Carter High School sophomore Harley Marshall scored a 298 and finished in a tie for second behind Johnson in the boy’s overall individual competition. John Hardin High School senior Jarad Givan finished fourth with a score of 297 and Anderson County High School sophomore Bradley Wilson and Western Hills High School sophomore Connor Dailey scored 295 and finished tied for fifth.
In the girl’s division overall individual standings, Wagoner finished ahead of Anderson County High School freshman Anna Rose, who finished second with a score of 292. Pulaski County High School junior Halee Lanigan, Southwestern High School senior Sarah Purtee and Madison Central junior Taylor Cobb each posted a score of 290. Lanigan hit one more 10-ring bull’s eye and was awarded third place. Purtee and Cobb finished tied for fourth.
“I wasn’t really all that nervous until five minutes before the awards and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I hope someone didn’t beat me by a point,’” Wagoner said. “I was excited to be here and I was excited to show up. I could feel that I was going to do well.”
In the overall team competition, Madison Central High School finished second and Western Hills High School finished third behind Trigg County in the high school division.
Pulaski Northern Middle School won the middle school division, followed by Henderson County North Middle School and Anderson County Middle School.
In the elementary school division, Shopville Elementary in Somerset placed first, followed by Frankfort’s Collins Lane Elementary and Ekron’s Flaherty Elementary.
For the first time, the top eight seniors in the boys and girls high school divisions received $1,000 scholarships.
Boys earning scholarships were Givan, Connor Patterson from Lincoln County High School, Tylor Brown from Madisonville North Hopkins High School, Mackinze Fox and Ethan Davis from Letcher County Central High School, Brent Jones and Skylar Pool from Trigg County High School and Austin Kemp from Murray High School. Girls earning scholarships were Purtee, Hailey Townsend from Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School, Michelle Boyken from Meade County High School, Marissa Eschman from Bullitt East High School, Brooklyn Wainscott from Williamstown Independent High School, Sarah Shipley from Trigg County High School, Briley Hearrin from Webster County High School and Courtnie Carr from Western Hills High School.
The next step for many of the archers who competed in the state tournament is the 2015 NASP Nationals scheduled May 7-9 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville. Full state tournament results are available online at www.nasptournaments.org.