The main gym at H.D. Woodson Senior High School was quiet at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, March 7. Here, 24 Wilson students joined over 100 DCPS students in grades four through 12 for the first annual District of Columbia Public Schools Archery Tournament.
Participants were offered breakfast before the first flight time at 9:15. The tournament lasted until 5 p.m., with different rotations of students in each round and an award ceremony later in the day. Each rotation consisted of one practice fly 10 meters from the target, then three scored flies. After that, the rotation would shoot a practice fly at the 15 meter mark, then three more scored rounds.
Though the 9:15 a.m. rotation mostly consisted of elementary schoolers, there were five Wilson participants. Sophomores Matilda Jensen, Kristina Wiltshire, Samuel Alten, Ella Feldman, Nathalie Mitchell, and senior Thaeya Adams participated in the first rotation. The students self-scored, and no winner could be decided until the end of the day since there were many more rounds to go.
Like many other Wilson participants, this was Adams first time participating in an archery tournament. She found that her scores from the 10 meter round were higher. However she said that as a whole, she felt confident in the team.
“I feel as though we’ve been doing okay so far, since it’s our first time [competing]” she said. Adams hopes to participate in more competitions in the future.
Through the nearly 8-hour tournament, Wilson had a great showing, bringing home the award for “Best Team,” for their age bracket, as well as sweeping the top three places for both boys and girls. The top three finishers for girls were Matilda Jensen (10) in first, Taylor Kellman (9) in second, and Kristina Wiltshire (10) in third. The boys’ top finishers were Elijah Bemah (10) in first place, Tony Smole (10) in second, and Yassine Djiwa (10) in third. Bemah was awarded the overall top score with 242 total points.
Coach Dunham is the instructor of this team, as he offers the sport in his P.E. classes. He is certified to instruct archery at the basic level.
“There’s a mantra of taking it one arrow at a time and, that is kind of life, where you have to take your time with achieving certain goals in life and you only take it one step at a time…well in archery one arrow at a time,” said Dunham.
Sixteen out of the 24 Wilson participants qualified for the National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky this May. For a team of first time archers, Wilson was beyond expectations.
To see the Tigers’ scores, click here.
PHOTOS BY SARAH TORRESEN