Madison Central’s team score of 3,442 at the 2017 KHSAA State Archery Championships gave the Indians their second straight title.
It was also the narrowest margin of victory in state championship history, two points better than the 3,440 put up by Lafayette in the same flight Thursday morning at Kentucky Basketball Academy.
“It got a little tighter this time,” Madison Central Coach Winston Long said with a laugh. “ ... I thought when we came in today we would shoot a 3,435 or better, so I’m glad we shot better. Two points is two points, you know, that’s all that matters.”
In the five-year history of the KHSAA’s sponsorship of the sport, Lafayette’s second-place finish was the best by a Lexington school. In winning the 8th Region team title over Madison Central in March, the Generals shot a 3,465 — the highest score in the state and one of the highest in the nation — but couldn’t replicate that effort on Thursday.
Head coach Jesse Peters looked forward to regrouping with his team on Tuesday after a few days off. Archery season doesn’t end here; the NASP national and world competitions are still forthcoming.
“I’ll put it on the line and say, ‘What’s everybody’s goals? Where’s everybody at right now?’” Peters said. “‘You can win the national tournament still and then you get to go to the world tournament. You’ve got two huge tournaments left. How do you want to be rememebered as seniors. Younger guys, how do you want to be remembered going forward?’”
Lafayette’s seventh-place finish in last season’s tournament was the previous best by a city school. The program has ascended since Peters helped get it off the ground in 2012.
“We started with 24 kids and every year we’ve gotten more and more kids,” Peters said. “We’re at 65 kids now and I’m sure we’ll probably get a few more next year. Jessie Clark Middle School’s started a team, so every year now I might get 10 to 12 kids that are really good shooters, which will help the team for sure. It just keeps growing.”
Model junior takes individual title
Josh Smith isn’t quite as sizable as the former NBA player who shares his name, but one need not tower over the competition to dominate a bull’s-eye.
Smith, a junior at Model Laboratory School, won the overall individual title. He shot a 298 in the second of six flights on the day. Smith competed as an individual after winning the 8th Region tournament about a month ago with the same score.
He’s only in his second year of competing as an archer. Smith played basketball growing up but didn’t think he was very good at it.
“I love basketball but it’s not ... you know,” Smith said with a laugh.
It was Smith’s first tournament with a new bow. He shot “relentlessly” with it the last couple of weeks to get it tuned up.
“My other one kept messing up and going out of alignment and just messing with me,” said Smith, who became Model’s first boy to win a state championship in any sport since 1973. “But this one looks like it’s a good set-up.”
Bethlehem’s Kristen Sedlatschek won the girls’ individual title with a 294, tied with three other shooters for the 11th-best score of the day. Simon Kenton’s Pagie Robbins also shot a 294 but shot one less 10 on target than did Sedlatschek.
KHSAA State Archery Championships
Top 10 teams—1. Madison Central 3,442; 2. Lafayette 3,440; 3. Trigg County 3,431; 4. Henderson County 3,423; 5. Pulaski County 3,413 (214 ‘10’s’); 6. Lincoln County 3,413 (209 ‘10s’); 7. Bullitt Central 3,409; 8. Anderson County 3,400 (202 ‘10s’); 9. Muhlenberg County 3,400 (190 ‘10s’); 10. Bethlehem 3,397.
Top boys—1. Josh Smith, Model, 298; 2. Harley Marshall, East Carter, 297; t3. Cole Murphy, Lafayette, 296; t3. Henry Thompson, Anderson County, 296; t5. Isaac Rogers, Mercer County, 295; t5. Roby Mullins, Lincoln County, 295.
Top five girls—1. Kristen Sedlatschek, Bethlehem, 294 (25 ‘10s’); 2. Paige Robbins, Simon Kenton, 294 (24 ‘10s’); 3. Lora Lee Heady, Trigg County, 293; 4. Morgan Belcher, Pulaski County, 292; 5. Kennedy Sumpter, Harrison County, 291