FULL RESULTS: On the mark: local archers compete in national tournaments; East Elementary brings home national title


The East Elementary School Archery Team has won first place in the 2018 NASP Eastern National IBO 3D Challenge. (Courtesy of East Elementary)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A handful of local archery squads made their way to Louisville, Kentucky over the weekend for the 2018 National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) national tournaments, and one of them even brought home a national title. East Elementary took the top the prize in this year’s International Bowhunting Organization (IBO) shoot, finishing with a score of 1,660. East also managed to take home second place in the bullseye event.

East Elementary Coach Branch Whitlock knew after watching his team shoot that they had a chance to win it all, but he didn’t realize how well they really performed until after all the results were in.

“We shot the ministry event the night before and had a real strong score, so I thought that if we shot that score again the next day, we would probably win. We turned around and we shot a better score. Our score was 20 points higher than the national champion from the year before, so I felt really good about it. I felt like we were in a great place moving forward and had a great opportunity to win,” Whitlock said. “I thought that we had it won, I really felt good about it. 1660 is the score that won and that’s an unprecedented score, that’s a middle school score and we shot it, so I knew I felt good about it, I was trying to encourage the parents not to go home and to wait and see and most of them did. The kids were so excited, probably the first national championship for an Elementary School here in Cullman. We also felt great about our bullseye score except for the fact that on Friday, Kingston Elementary out of Louisiana shot a score that I thought might be untouchable, kind of like our IBO score. If we had like an incredible day we could’ve beaten them, and we just barely came up short. We would’ve beaten last year’s champion by two points, so that’s how good we shot this year.”

Whitlock said he knew by the end of the year that he had a special team but back at the start of the season, he had a lot of questions about his 2018 squad.

“I thought this year was going to be a struggle for us. I thought coming into the year we were probably second in the state. We had some good returners but not as many as I normally have. I really had to bring on some new fifth graders and develop them along the way and of course every year we have new fourth graders but about middle of the year, around March, I realized how much potential this team had. I thought at that time it was probably the group with the most potential that I’ve ever had so I got really excited that we could potentially have a national championship team,” Whitlock said. “I wasn’t sure we would be good enough by state to win state, but I did think we’d be good by the time nationals rolled around. We made a huge jump right before state and an even bigger one right after. We shot 19 points higher at nationals than we did at state. In turn, Dixon Elementary, the team I was most worried about, shot about 80 points lower than they did at state so that’s how things can take a turn. It’s just the mental makeup of the kids that makes or breaks it sometimes. The kids shot out of their mind good. It’s a lot of stress and pressure and they were just able to fight through it and bring it home.”

Cullman Middle School finished sixth overall in the IBO shoot after posting a 1,670, Vinemont Middle School placed 24th with a score of 1637 and West Point High School posted a 1,370 to finish 96th. East Elementary also came up with a second-place finish in the bullseye event after posting a score of 3,260. Vinemont Middle School and Cullman Middle School finished 28th and 33rd in the bullseye event, respectively and West Point Middle School finished the event in 214th place nationally. West Point and Good Hope High Schools were the only local high schools in Louisville over the weekend and finishing in 98th and 157th place in the bullseye event, respectively.

Vinemont Elementary placed 28th in the IBO shoot and 21st in the bullseye event over the weekend, but the standout during the trip for the Eagles was fifth-grader Kayden Henderson. Henderson finished in third place in the bullseye event, finishing ahead of more than 2,000 other elementary archers with a score of 288.

Alongside Henderson, there were a few more standout performances in Louisville from local archers. East Elementary’s Allie Stewart took fourth place in the bullseye event with a final score of 283, Hayden Scott finished sixth for East in the IBO shoot with a score of 283, and East’s Ava Ray finished second in the IBO shoot with a score of 282 just ahead of Stewart, who finished third. East Elementary also had five girls finish in the top 10 of the Ministry 3D Tournament, starting with Arianna Scott. Scott finished second with 278 points just ahead of Allie Stewart and Ava Ray, who finished third and fourth, respectively. Brianna Willoughby also cracked the top 10 with a seventh-place finish just ahead of Lillyann Powell in eighth. East Elementary’s boys also had a big day in the 3D Ministry shoot. Hayden Scott took second place after posting a 282 and Evan Dockery was right behind him in fourth place. Jack Yeager put together a seventh-place finish in the shoot, with Cole Burnham rounding out East’s top 10 performers in ninth place.

Top six finishers for each time in each event. Top six individual scores count toward the team’s total.

National IBO 3D Challenge

East Elementary – 1st place

Fifth-grader Hayden Scott – 283 points

Fifth-grader Ava Ray – 282 points

Fifth-grader Allie Stewart – 282 points

Fifth-grader Jack Yeager – 274 points

Fifth-grader Arianna Scott – 270 points

Fifth-grader Briana Willoughby – 269 points

Vinemont Elementary – 28th place

Fifth-grader Kayden Henderson – 269 points

Fifth-grader Rylan McRae – 252 points

Fifth-grader Trinity Sartin – 250 points

Fifth-grader Lily Hasting – 249 points

Fifth-grader Nicolas Jankowski – 243 points

Fifth-grader Christian Hart – 243 points

Cullman Middle School – 6th place

Jackson Miner, 281 points

Will Bolzle, 281 points

Grader Jamie Jowers – 279 points

Carson Starnes – 279 points

Kilie Cosper – 277 points

Clay Bonds – 273 points

Vinemont Middle School – 24th place

Ayden Thomason – 280 points

Dawson Wilhite – 278 points

Tai Shurtleff – 272 points

Jarrett Friedrich – 271 points

Vance Powell – 271 points

Chayce Sandlin – 270 points

West Point High School – 96th place

Matthew Dunagan – 280 points

Ronnie Gentry – 270 points

Shay Sellers – 269 points

Leila Cherry – 239 points

Mackenzie Tidwell – 228 points

Gearl Ellenburg – 217 points

Nationals Bullseye Shoot (Top 12 scores are counted toward team totals)

East Elementary – 2nd place

Allie Stewart – 283 points

Jack Yeager – 280 points

Hayden Scott – 279 points

Briana Willoughby – 278 points

Ava Ray – 278 points

Evan Dockery – 276 points

Arianna Scott – 271 points

Cole Burnham – 269 points

Mack Dumas – 266 points

Tyler Brock – 261 points

Brinley Hurt – 260 points

Cooper Loftin – 259 points

Vinemont Elementary – 21st place

Kayden Henderson – 288 points

Hayden Robinson – 270 points

Lily Hasting – 267 points

Trinity Sartin – 265 points

Rylan McRae – 260 points

Jonathan Roland – 257 points

Tucker Robinson – 256 points

Lex Harbison – 251 points

Cheston Wilhite – 250 points

Erin Anderson – 250 points

Zachary Coates – 248 points

Nicolas Jankowski – 245 points

Vinemont Middle School – 28th place

Jarrett Friedrich – 284 points

Jordan Whitehead – 282 points

Logan Ford – 282 points

Savannah Mann – 278 points

Tai Shurtleff – 276 points

Dawson Wilhite – 275 points

Sydney Rutherford – 275 points

Caden Welch – 275 points

Ayden Thomason – 272 points

Alexis Sartin – 271 points

Ethan Monfort – 271 points

Vance Powell – 270 points

Cullman Middle School – 33rd place

Will Bolzle – 285 points

Roman Shields – 277 points

Jackson Henshaw – 277 points

Carson Starnes – 276 points

Jackson Miner – 276 points

Samantha Johnson – 273 points

Jamie Jowers – 273 points

Emma Ritchey – 272 points

Anna Page – 272 points

Clay Bonds – 272 points

Emma Britton – 271 points

Kilie Cosper – 270 points

West Point Middle School – 214th place

Carter Duke – 276 points

Lauren Taylor – 275 points

John David Cochran – 268 points

Summer Mendoza – 262 points

Kaitlynn Gable – 254 points

Tray Griffin – 252 points

Garrett Smith – 251 points

Ryleigh Jones – 249 points

Gracy Kelton – 248 points

Cade Tyree – 247 points

Marshall Doherty – 247 points

Hallie Wheeler – 245 points

West Point High School – 98th place

Matthew Dunagan – 288 points

Ethan Little – 285 points

Christian Parker – 280 points

Lily Owen – 280 points

Emma Tucker – 277 points

Blake Johnson – 274 points

Shay Sellers – 272 points

Sarah Hudson – 270 points

Cameron Haynes – 269 points

Skyler Rittenberry – 265 points

Ronnie Gentry – 264 points

Mallory Campbell – 263 points

Good Hope High School – 157th place

Mallory Hammock – 283 points

Connor Earp – 281 points

Will Dickerson – 274 points

Matthew Kraus – 273 points

RJ Bynum – 271 points

Taylor Wooten – 270 points

Landon Graham – 267 points

Abby Davis – 264 points

Riley Kilpatrick – 264 points

Bella Davis – 263 points

Bethany Bynum – 261 points

Jonathan Speegle – 254 points

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