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NH archery teams advance to nationals

Robertson places 1st in bullseye, 3D
NH archery teams advance to nationals
NH archery teams advance to nationals
Coaches and members of the North Harrison Elementary School archery team gather for a team photo between sessions of the state archery tournament in Indianapolis Saturday. The NHES squad swept titles in both 3D and bullseye competition and advance to nationals along with teams from North Harrison Middle and High School and Morgan Elementary. Submitted photo
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

Three years into the program and North Harrison’s archery teams have more podium finish trophies to take home following Saturday’s state tournament at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis.

NH archery teams advance to nationals
North Harrison Elementary School fifth graders Colton Sieg, left, Laine Wilkins and Hailee Reed compete during the bullseye competition of the Indiana state archery tournament in Indianapolis on Saturday. NHES captured the tournament, besting a field of 15 teams. Photo by Chris Timberlake

All North Harrison teams — Morgan Elementary, North Harrison Elementary, North Harrison Middle and North Harrison High schools — advanced to compete in the national competition, which will take place virtually this year. They intend to film those between April 17 and May 8.

NHES took home the top position in both the state bullseye and 3D shooting competitions, receiving the first-place award for the team. The middle school team placed second in 3D shooting, Morgan Elementary placed third in 3D and NHHS placed third in both bullseye and 3D.

Some students were podium winners in the individual competition as well: Hazel Robertson, fifth grade, was awarded first place and the state champion title in both bullseye and 3D; Lydia Windell, eighth grade, took home second in bullseye and 3D; Hailee Reed, fifth grade, won second in bullseye and third in 3D; Mary Jane Ellis, ninth grade, received second in 3D; and Aiden Beyerle, fourth grade, was awarded second in 3D.

“It is pretty unreal what the kids were able to accomplish,” Ashley First, the head archery coach, said. “This is only the third year for our program, and the kids have so much to be proud of. We hope to have some sort of celebration for them to honor their success soon.”

First said that during the midst of a year unlike any other that she couldn’t be more proud of how her team adapted to all the changes to schedules and practice regulations and were still able to come out on top.

She added that without Grandan Homes, located in New Salisbury, offering its warehouse as a practice facility for the club, they would not be where they are today.

“Because we were able to use their facility, we were able to socially distance from one another and we could conduct contact tracing,” First said. “This was a big deal for us because it kept everyone as safe as possible and still let the kids have a sense of normalcy by still being able to practice archery and compete.”

First added that her teams were very excited to begin practice for the national competition and said she is hoping they can continue with their winning streaks there as well.

If any students or teams advance from nationals, they will compete in the world championship tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C.