Record 12,000-Plus Student Archers Shoot in NASP Nationals

(Story courtesy of Brittany Jo Jones, NASP)

From Prince of Wales, Alaska, to Washington D.C., student archers, coaches, friends, and family came to Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center May 6-9 for the 2015 National Archery in the Schools Program United States National Tournament.

By the end of the three-day competition, 12,045 young archers from 763 schools in 42 states and Washington D.C. had surpassed NASP’s 2014 world record of 10,443 archers! This is an increase of more than 15 percent. One world record in three days wasn’t enough for these fourth through 12th-grade students! Then, once they shot in the bull’s-eye competition, 2,841 of them made their way over to the NASP/IBO 3D Challenge contest to also reset the world 3D record which had been longstanding at 2,450 archers.

Tom's News Item on NASP National Achery Day 4-15indexThe tournament’s top male archer was 11th grader, Miles Wilson from Alma Bryant High School in Irvington, Ala. He posted a near perfect score of 298 out of 300. Eighth-grade student, Sophie Kleinman from Louisville’s Crosby Middle School placed tops among lady archers with an equally impressive 297.

While many individuals win awards at NASP tournaments, teams play a dominant role throughout the event, including awards. First-place teams in each of the three divisions were; Kentucky’s Trigg County High – 3,441, Ohio’s Logan Hocking Middle – 3,397, and Kentucky’s Shopville Elementary – 3,239 points. A perfect score would be a team’s top 12 archers scoring 300 each or 3,600 team points. By rule, each participating team must contain at least four archers of both genders.

After the competition it was time for what many believe is the highlight of the tournament, the scholarship shoot-off! As more than 2,000 spectators and peers look on, each of the top five male and female archers shot again. They shot five arrows for practice and then five for score at 15 meters. Based upon the results of the shoot-off, $105,000 in scholarship cash is awarded! Bradley Long, a junior from Madison Central High School in Richmond, Ky., barely made the shoot-off. First he had to win a tie-breaker to see if he finished fifth or sixth. He broke the tie and capped that off with a first-place finish in the scholarship shoot-off, which was good for $20,000! Long told his mother afterward, “Mom, I was thinking during the shoot-off that if I could win it you wouldn’t have to worry about college expenses, now you don’t.”

The world’s largest archery tournament requires nearly 175 adult volunteers to maintain safety, keep events on schedule, and provide archer assistance when needed. Asked why he drives hundreds of miles to be a volunteer at Nationals every year, avid archer Jim Hart of Lafayette, Ind., said, “I love being around these thousands of happy kids.”

In fact, when surveyed, NASP students rate “fun” as the top reason why they like archery, with self-improvement and competing with friends close behind. Archery is truly a co-gender “sport,” too. This year’s NASP® Nationals were comprised of 45 percent female and 55 percent male archers. This has been one of the most gratifying outcomes of NASP!

Next for these U.S. national archers will be the NASP Worlds at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn., July 23-25, 2015. They will be joined by young archers from the other nine countries participating in the National Archery in the Schools Program.

Guide Outdoors Readers: Do you know anyone involved in this outstanding archery program? Tell us about it below.

Leave a Reply

Commenting Policy - We encourage open expression of your thoughts and ideas. But there are a few rules:

No abusive comments, threats, or personal attacks. Use clean language. No discussion of illegal activity. Racist, sexist, homophobic, and generally hateful comments are not tolerated. Keep comments on topic. Please don't spam.

While we reserve the right to remove or modify comments at our sole discretion, the Sportsman's Guide does not bear any responsibility for user comments. The views expressed within the comment section do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of The Sportsman's Guide.