March 11, 2020
Jim Harris Managing Editor Arkansas Wildlife Magazine
HOT SPRINGS – For the fourth year, Hill Farm Elementary School in Bryant will be sending several youngsters to Louisville, Kentucky, for the National Archery in the Schools Program Eastern National tournament.
Last Friday at Bank OZK Arena, Hill Farm not only refused to let go of its hold on the Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program championship trophy, winning for the fourth year in a row, but it also bettered its top score ever recorded in the state competition.
Hill Farm broke the 3,000 point barrier for the first time in the final, totaling 3,025 points from 12 of its 25 team members. Team scoring is calculated using the top four boys scorers, the top four girls, and then the next four highest scores, boy or girl. The Hill Farm program received $500 for the victory along with various trophies for the team title and individuals who finished in their respective top 5 – Savannah Bergren, whose 263 points for third place among all elementary girls, and Gabriel Vargas, who totaled 271 points among boys.
Nancy Wood, the schools’ PE teacher who began coaching the Hill Farm archery team five years ago, says she’s asked often what is the key to Hill Farm’s success. “Well, I think I make the kids mad because I make them do too many push-ups,” she said with a laugh. “No, really, the kids just work really hard. The season for us starts in September. We felt good about our chances, but our main goal today was to improve on last year’s score and break the 3,000 mark.”
Eagle Mountain Magnet secured second place with 2,957 points. Bentonville Old High Middle School Fifth Grade was third with 2932; Charleston Elementary finished fourth with 2920; and Valley View Intermediate landed in fifth place among the 36 teams competing, totaling 2892 points.
Meanwhile, the Middle School Division (sixth through eighth grades) was a thriller decided by one arrow in the right or wrong ring of the target, depending on your perspective. For El Dorado Barton Middle School, it was the right arrow in the right ring giving the Barton Archery Team a 1-point win for the championship over Bergman Middle School, 3,222 to 3,221.
Rattler Middle School Archery from Murfreesboro took third among middle schools with 3,194, followed by Bryant Middle School with 3,180 and Des Arc Eagle Eye Archery.
While Bergman may have come up one point shy in the team portion, Bergman’s Logan Wilkinson shot a stunning 293 for the boys individual championship, hitting 24 of 30 bull’s-eyes. Abby Rhoades from Fayetteville Woodland Junior High was in front in the girls division with a 282 and 14 bull’s-eyes out of 30 shots. Competitors in both divisions shot 15 arrows from 10 meters and 15 from 15 meters during their flight.
The Elementary girls individual title was won by Carlee Nickolson of the Mockinjays with 269 points and 10 bull’s-eyes.
Sulphur Rock Academy had two Elementary boys go 1-2 in the individual scoring, with Hayes Kibe totaling 290, 10 points shy of a perfect round and extremely impressive for a fourth-grader, while Eli McCormick totaled 277.
Results can be found from both days’ action at https://www.agfc.com/en/anasp-app/.
A complete album of photos from AGFC photographer Mike Wintroath is available on the AGFC Facebook page.