Nodaway Valley Elementary School student Beau Antisdel and middle school student Abbigail Zenor will be the first in history to compete at the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) National Tournament this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Wolverine archery program has qualified an archer before for nationals, but Dakota Paxton was unable to shoot there due to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both archers qualified through stellar, top-10 performances in their age group at the state tournament held in Des Moines in early March.
Those competing for Nodaway Valley at state were Kaden Schildberg, Corbin Hubenka, Everett Ehler, Quentin Shaull, Antisdel, Lincoln Van Horn, Zenor, Stone Weckman, Collin Akers, Nora Newbury, KayLynn Virtue, Gavin Shoemaker and Shannon Newbury.
Antisdel, a fifth-grader, will compete in 3D archery at nationals, meaning he’ll be shooting at animal-like targets. The smallest is a turkey and the largest is a stone sheep.
“I’d say 3D is a lot harder, because if you hit the target, you’re guaranteed to score a seven, where if you hit it on bullseye, the scoring is different,” Antisdel said, explaining there are six different animals he had to shoot at in the state shoot from different ranges. “I got my two highest scores from the season at state.”
For both archers representing NV at nationals, this was their first time even shooting at state.
“Shooting at state, it’s really big and really exciting,” Antisdel said. “It was just a really big experience for everybody.”
Zenor had to return to the state shoot to compete in a shoot-off to break a tie with another competitor. An eighth-grader, she will compete at nationals in the bullseye competition, which involves shooting at a stationary target.
“I was excited because I had been excited to go to state for awhile,” Zenor said. “I’m surprised I’ve gotten this far. I didn’t think I could get this far. I’ve done archery for five years. I felt I was really focused and determined at state to get to where I needed to.”
Taking your time and relaxing while on the firing line was one of the biggest takeaways Zenor brought home from the state shoot, and she’s looking forward to putting that into practice once again at nationals.
“I think nationals will be really big. I’m not sure what else to expect,” Zenor said. “I know there will be a lot of people there.”