SOUTH WHITLEY — Even after ranking high in a national archery tournament, South Whitley Elementary School sixth-grader Cassidy Skinner is aiming to improve her skills and scores.
Cassidy, daughter of Jeremy and Melissa Skinner, competed at the 2019 National Archery in the Schools Program Eastern Nationals in Louisville, Ky., on May 9 and 10.
More than 15,000 students participated in the tournament, where 110 Indiana schools attended and competed.
At the tournament, Skinner placed first out of 78 sixth-graders and third out of 442 girls competing in the 2019 Centershot National 3D Tournament, with a score of 292 out of 300. Skinner also placed first out of 111 sixth-graders and fifth out of 300 middle school girls in the Centershot National Bullseye Tournament.
“It was fun to be there and shoot,” said Skinner. “There were a lot of people there. I did the best on Friday but Saturday was a little more nerve-wracking. Overall I would say I had a pretty good time. I definitely had to take my time and focus, but I also was having fun. I don’t do my best if I don’t have fun.”
Skinner has been a part of the Whitko Wildcat Archery program since fourth grade. The archery team regularly competes in tournaments both in and out-of-state. Students can join the program in fourth grade and are eligible to compete until their senior year.
At the Louisville tournament, Skinner and three other Whitko Community Schools students qualified to compete in the NASP Open/Championship to be held in Nashville, Tenn., in July. Gabi Griffith, Pierceton Elementary School; and Holly Hathaway and Isabella Hughes, both of Whitko Jr./Sr. High School, also qualify to attend the tournament.
When it comes to archery, Skinner said her parents are her biggest motivation.
“They help me with a lot of the things I do and without them, I wouldn’t be able to participate in archery,” said Skinner.
Outside of archery, Skinner is a softball player and also enjoys drawing. She plans to continue archery in the WCS archery program next year. Skinner also has set a goal for herself: to achieve a 300 at a tournament, which is a perfect score.
“My highest score is a 295,” said Skinner. “I really want to achieve a 300.”
The NASP 300 Club has a total of 13 people who have achieved this task for bullseye tournaments, and two people for 3D tournaments. As of now, no Indiana student has reached a perfect score at a tournament.
“When it comes to goals or what you want to do, if you never try or never do it, you’re never going to get anywhere with it,” said Skinner. “You also need to take chances. It can be nerve-wracking, but it’s better to take the opportunity now rather than regret it later.”