Archery Nationals Held in Louisville

By Judah Santos

comment_images2f1496459704416-img_5092.jpg

Photo by Judah Santos

A drone races down the length of the expo hall, its wing lights blinking.  It cruises over the archers, then stops and hovers for a moment as it eyes them up.  As arrows whiz beneath it, the drone rotates and glides in the opposite direction.

The drone is at the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) Nationals and it’s filming the archers for a commercial.  The event was held the weekend of May 10-12 in Louisville, KY at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

45,000 people dressed in a rainbow of hues drift around a group of tents clustered in the center of the room. They jostle in every direction, some to the ranks of chairs and bleachers parallel to the targets, others to join lines of people waiting to shoot 3-D targets and foam discs launched in the air. It is surprisingly quiet given the number of people in the room due to the fact that archery tournaments discourage unnecessary noise.

Walking into the expo hall was, “Absolutely overwhelming and very exciting!” said coach David Dlugo of Louisville, KY, who was at Nationals with his team for the first time. In the hall, piles of bow cases are grouped around massive ceiling supports and a few food stands selling hotdogs and nachos are scattered throughout. Hundreds of targets are lined up against one wall, brightening it with a burst of red, blue, and yellow.

Archers are divided into three age divisions: high school, middle school, and elementary school. Chance Seabolt, Henry Thompson, and Austin Hall each claimed first place in their respective divisions. In addition to claiming first place in the high school division, Seabolt, an 11th grader from Georgia, shot the highest score in the entire tournament, an amazing score of 298 out of 300 with 28 out of 30 possible tens. Thompson, an 8thgrader from Kentucky who ranked first in middle school and third overall, also got 298, but with 27 tens.  Fifth grader Hall from Kentucky, the first place elementary school archer, scored an impressive 292 with 23 tens.

Archers are divided into three age divisions: high school, middle school, and elementary school.  Chance Seabolt, Henry Thompson, and Austin Hall each claimed first place in their respective divisions. In addition to claiming first place in the high school division, Seabolt, an 11th grader from Georgia, shot the highest score in the entire tournament, an amazing score of 298 out of 300 with 28 out of 30 possible tens. Thompson, an 8thgrader from Kentucky who ranked first in middle school and third overall, also got 298, but with 27 tens.  Fifth grader Hall from Kentucky, the first place elementary school archer, scored an impressive 292 with 23 tens.

Eric Thompson, a lane official, is one of about 150 volunteers who help each day.  His duties include: helping with scoring, overseeing safety, promoting good sportsmanship, and solving lane issues such as bounce outs, a term for an arrow that hit the target but fell out. He recalled a particularly lively moment when one archer completely missed the target, hit a metal plate supporting the backdrop, and then his arrow bounced back 27-28 feet towards the archers who are only 35 feet away from the targets. When asked if he would like to volunteer again, Thompson emphatically said, “Absolutely!”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s