Hitting the target

vonWinklepleck excels in archery, places in top ten at state

Story by Darius Tinsley, Reporter

An archer since freshman year, senior Tatum vonWinklepleck developed and improved in her shooting skills and was recently awarded a scholarship.

“I’ve been shooting competitively since archery started my freshman year. I couldn’t shoot above a 200,” vonWinklepleck said. “But I’m glad I continued with it because I can now say that I’m good enough to take second place at state with a 279. The best someone can shoot is 300.”

For vonWinklepleck, shooting has always been an interest and the competition’s appeal comes from its independence and its acceptance of the sports competitors.

“Archery is very relaxing to me because I can do what I want without having to depend on someone else, unlike in a sport like volleyball or football,” vonWinklepleck said. “Also I like how anyone can do it if they want to, and pretty much everybody in archery, not just at PHS, is very accepting. At our home tournament, there was this girl from another school who is deaf and it honestly made me happy to see everyone support her instead of making fun of her.

Archery coach Mary Packard attributes vonWinklepleck’s skill to her regular practicing and her eagerness to compete.

“Tatum practices consistently and often, attending almost all practices available.  Tatum also has helped the PE 1 classes and Lifetime Fitness classes when they have gone through instruction,” Packard said.

vonWinklepleck was awarded the National Archery in the Schools Program Kansas State Senior Scholarship for having the best score at a shootoff that took place at the archery state competition.

“At state, the announcer asked for each senior wanting to participate in the shoot-off to go to the table. A range official scored each of our arrows and they announced the names of the boy and girl who shot the higher scores,” vonWinklepleck said. “There was one other girl besides me and I shot 5 points higher than her.”

vonWinklepleck recently competed at Bullseye State in Pratt on April 7. She took second place with a score of 253 of 300 and competed alongside archers Crispin vonWinklepleck, Ben Blessent, Beth Blessent, Kole Perez, Caleb Worsley and Bailey Julian. Ben Blessant placed sixth and Beth Blessant took eight place.

Bullseye Nationals take place at Louisville, Kentucky on May 12 and the team will be bringing Tatum vonWinklepleck, Beth Blessent, Jazmin Havens and Caleb Worsley.