Archers from Cheyenne River competed at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Western National Tournament at the Salt Palace Expo Center in Salt Lake City, UT, April 26-27.
Over 2,000 archers represented over 100 schools from across the western half of the United States during the two-day event. Archers competed in two competitions- the Bullseye Championship and the 3-D Challenge.
There are three categories that archers compete in depending on what grade they attend: elementary, middle school, or high school. Scoring can occur two ways: individually, with each archer earning points for every arrow landing on target, and as a team (12 archers minimum/24 archers maximum, with at least 4 of the opposite gender), where the top 12 archer scores are totaled.
Statewide, C-EB archers are renown for their talent and skills, oftentimes with individual archers taking top honors at archery tournaments and events, including Lakota National Invitationals, Dakota Oyate Challenge, and state. With combined scores, the C-EB elementary team is a force to be reckoned with, almost always placing top three throughout the state.
Last year, the C-EB elementary team placed second at the national tournament, with then-fifth grader Jhoni Uses Many placing fifth individually in her category.
This year, Cheyenne-Eagle Butte School sent only three archers from the middle school and seven archers from the elementary school to compete at the national tournament. Because neither met the minimum number of archers needed to qualify as a team, each archer from both schools competed individually.
According to C-EB coach Krissy Joens, the decision was made following NASP tournament rules.
“The reason why only ten archers competed in the national tournament is they placed in the top ten positions at the state tournament. To register for nationals, they either have to win first as a team or top ten in their divisions,” said Joens.
Although they did not compete as a team, each C-EB archer confidently drew each arrow, earning points with every release and shot on target.
Leading the C-EB middle school archers in the 3-D Challenge were seventh graders Tiana Johnson with a score of 270, Braylee Yellow Owl with a score of 263, and Brock Ducheneaux with a score of 255.
Leading the C-EB elementary archers in the 3-D challenge was fifth grader Austin Johnson with a score of 255, Luke Lesmeister with a score of 204, and Russell Thompson with a score of 188; fourth grader Taya Johnson with a score of 178; fifth grader Kael Dupris with a score of 178; fourth graders Wicahpi Pay Pay Frazier with a score of 173 and Xikannie Hein with a score of 105.
The four individual archers who competed in the Bullseye Tournament were Yellow Owl, T. Johnson, A. Johnson, and Thompson, who scored 271, 257, 255, and 217 respectively.
Eagle Butte homeschool, fifth grade student Hope Shorty travelled to the event with her family and competed in both events, scoring 244 points in the Bullseye Championship and 238 in the 3-D challenge. Last month, Shorty placed second at the South Dakota State 3-D tournament and fourth at the South Dakota Bullseye tournament.