Hartland's three archery teams all finished in the top 20 of their divisions in the national tournament as Shelby Simonds won her grade level and finished fifth in the high school division by winning a dramatic shoot out.
Simonds, a 17-year-old Hartland High School junior, defeated a girl from Trigg County High School in Kentucky, considered a perennial power in archery, 48-46 before a crowd of more than 2,000 in Louisville, KY. Her finish gave the Eagles their second podium finish in three years as the program also captured the tournament's spirit award for the third straight year in a tournament where 7,000 archers and hundreds of teams competed on Friday and Saturday.
"I just told myself I was going to win and I did," said Simonds of her best finish in five years of competition. "I just stayed calm and focused on my form, not the score."
Hartland coach Rob Jellison said he's proud of Simonds' performance.
"All eyes were on her and she was fantastic," he said.
Jellison said the team results are the best yet in four yearsa at nationals for the teams. The high school team finished 16th and did better than the two Michigan teams that finished ahead of the Eagles at the state tournament. The finish also was 100 points and 20 places higher than 2010.
The middle school team finished 11th out of more than 100 teams, improving 90 points and from 19th last year. The elementary school team finished 14th out of 78 teams, 31 points higher than last year when the team was 22nd.
The program's third spirit win reflected the team's sportsmanship as well as a large contingent of parents who cheered and banged thundersticks to support the Eagles throughout the tournament, Jellison said.
Overall, Jellison said Hartland's program is gaining ground on the national powerhouses from states such as from Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio.
"It was a great year," he said. " We keep making progress. … We're gaining of them. We're right on their heels."
Key to the progress is the development of younger archers where Hartland continues to excel with more than a dozen at the elementary and middle school level making the top 100 over the weekend. For example, two younger standouts are brother and sister, Chris and Emily Bee, who finished 16th and 58th in their respective divisions, Jellison said.
"They are going to be on the podium before they graduate," he predicted.
Simonds said the ability to concentrate is critical to success.
"I blocked everything out," she said as she scored 290 out of 300. "I didn't hear the thunderstorm going on (outside)."
Such focus helps her ease stress from the typical high school pressures, such as homework and high school drama among girls.
"I love archery," she said. "Just to shoot and compete is amazing. It's an amazing feeling to win, too."
Simonds said she is aiming to shoot even better next year, with first place in her sights at the upcoming world tournament in October and a national championship next year.
"I was only three points from the first place winner," she said, adding she's shot even higher in practice.
Results:Hartland High School Archers in the Top 100 Shelby Simonds shot a 290 giving her a fifth place finish in high school and a first place finish in 11th grade. Emily Bee shot a 280 giving her a 58th place finish in high school and 21st place finish in ninth grade. Zachery Triltsch shot a 285 giving him a 62nd place finish in high school and 14th place finish in 11th grade. Chad Cooper shot a 284 giving him a 80th place finish in the high school and 33rd place finish in 10th grade. Note: All Scores are out of 300 and places overall places are out of of 2,115 archers.
Other high school archers competing were:
Hartland Middle School Archers in the Top 100 Chris Bee shot a 289 giving him a 16th place in middle school and a 14th place in 8th grade. Jake Kantola shot a 280 that put him in 87th place for middle school and 41st for seventh grade. Brandon Thomas shot a 279 that placed him in 103rd for middle school and 49th for seventh grade. Betty Jellison shot a 279 giving her a 46th place in middle school and 26th place in seventh grade Jessie Hinkle shot a 274 that put her in 88th place in middle school and 42nd place in eighth grade Kara Micallef shot a 268 that placed her in 141st in middle school and 64th place for eighth grade Note: All Scores are out of 300 and places overall places are out of of 2,079 archers.
Other middle school archers competing were:
Hartland Elementary School Archers in the Top 100 Sawyer Bulloch shot a 276 giving him a 16th place in fifth grade and 52nd place in the elementary school division.
Paul Tiano shot a 268 that put him in 87th place for sixth grade and 143rd place the elementary school division. Collin Pajot shot a 262 giving him an 82nd place in fifth grade and 267th place the elementary school division. Harper Peters shot a 261 giving her a 93rd place in sixth grade and a 133rd place the elementary school division. Nolan Sheffer shot a 260 that put him in 99th for fifth grade and 313th place the elementary school division. Anna Fraser shot a 256 giving her a 49th place in fifth grade and 199th place the elementary school division. Sydney Vivian shot a 255 that put her in 57th place for fifth grade and 217th place the elementary school division. Note: All Scores are out of 300 and places overall places are out of of 2,537 archers.
Other elementary school archers competing were:Name Scores Tara Peterson 242
Mackenzie Taylor 224 Riley Carter 222 Mackenzie Wilson 213 Drew Canny 264 Derrick Loruss 259 Dominick Van Ess 257 T.J. Thompson 254 Kyle Rushak 251 Christian Tasich 249 Brandon Sexton 249 Cameron Sisco 249 Tanner Behr 244 Logan Skinner 243 Collin Flatt 236 Jacob Beauchamp 229 J.B. Germane 211