Archery makes a bullseye at Nationals


A digitally constructed image with original photo provided by Jennifer Spaur

Rock Hill Archery players prepare for their national tournament in Utah. “We qualified for nationals as a team, so the whole team is traveling to Salt Lake City to compete this weekend,” Alli Lutes said.

On March 23rd, the Rock Hill Archery Team placed 10th out of 60 schools, and every competitor on the team advanced to their national competition in Utah.

“When we advanced to nationals, we were all very excited,” team captain Ashlynn Dickens said. “This was the first time our Rock Hill team made it.”

The archery competition in Utah is part of the National Archery in the Schools Program or “NASP.”

“A team consists of 24 boys and girls, and a tournament has each team shooting six scoring rounds,” Archery Coach Alex Vasquez said.

The archery team received 3rd place in different tournaments, including the Allen State Qualifier. In addition, Archers Lili Corpuz received 2nd place, Fernanda Alatorre-Perez received 7th place and Julia Johns received 10th place at the Garret Hull Memorial Scholarship tournament.  

“This season has been really great. [We] started the season with a fourth of the team new to the sport,” Vasquez said.

At the beginning of each practice, archers prepare themselves by warming up their bodies to their playing field. 

“We usually start with stretching and warmups to get used to the environment, and then afterward, we get on the line and start practicing shooting,” Lee said. 

During each tournament, the archers get some time to prepare for their tournament.

“We usually arrive there one hour before what’s called a flight time when we shoot, and we usually motivate each other, hyping each other up for that,” Junior Logan Vasquez said. 

Archers can “aim for success” both in and outside of practice and tournaments. They create their targets to help them become successful in their tournaments for individual aspects and their team. 

“Everyone has their own goals, and we strive to achieve them every practice, whether fixing an aim point, hitting a new personal best, or fixing something mentally,” Dickens said.

Archery is also known as a precision sport in which any movement could affect the player’s shot.

“It takes a lot of training to be great at it, and I am so happy and proud that our team was willing to put in all the work to get to where we are right now,” Lutes said. “It really is an amazing activity that teaches you a lot about life in the process.”

In each round of the tournaments, you can shoot five arrows, with the maximum number of points per arrow being 10.

“The goal is to shoot the best score you can, which in our case is a 300. The highest score for one round is a 50, which is challenging to do,” Lutes said. “One of the really common phrases that you will hear archery coaches say after a bad shot is, ‘that arrow is gone, you can’t do anything about it, so you might as well bounce back and shoot a better arrow.’” 

The archery team at RHHS is part of the Prosper Archery Club, which comprises Stuber Elementary and all middle and high schools in our district.

“However, we have a Prosper High School and Rock Hill High School team,” Vasquez said. “We are one club, but we compete against each other at tournaments.”

Although growing in membership, archery is still under-recognized by Prosper community members. 

“Archery is one of the more under-looked clubs in Prosper, but it’s just as fun,” Dickens said. “The team we have is like a family, [we] all know each other.”

After her first year in archery, Junior Chloe Lee cultivates relationships with her archery crew.

“My favorite part [of archery] is learning from the coaches and practicing my skills. I like talking with my friends in practice and interacting with the team,” Lee said. 

The national competition was held on April 28th and April 29th at Salt Lake City, Utah. Rock Hill came in 19th place out of 26 schools in their national competition. Alli Lutes came out in 8th place out of 243 high school girls in the nation.