LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Thousands of student-archers congregated in Louisville’s Kentucky Exposition Center this past weekend to take part in The National Archery in Schools Program Open Championship Tournament, which ran from Thursday, June 23 through Saturday, June 25. Student-archers competed for a total of $84,000 in cash scholarships.
Among the more than 5,000 students that competed in the national tournament, Buckhannon-Upshur High School student, Elijah “Eli” Bryant firmly established himself in the upper echelon of the national student-archery scene with an outstanding showing in Louisville. Eli secured a second-place finish in his age group at the Open Championship in the Bullseye competition this past weekend with near flawless marksmanship and precision.
At the end of regulation shooting, Bryant found himself tied with a score of 296, with 26 perfect ten shots, alongside with 4 other boys sending him to a tiebreaker. In the end, Bryant won the shoot-off for sole control of second-place and thus promptly brought home some hefty hardware.
Bryant took a moment to reflect on his accomplishment saying, “I walked into this tournament thinking it was an honor to make it this far. When I took second place, I couldn’t believe how well I had shot. I was excited, thankful and blessed.”
Bryant explained his mindset at the close of regulation, as he entered the four-way tiebreaker, saying, “At the end of the competition, I was in a five way tie for second place and had to do a shoot of to decide who was the runner-up. After the shoot off I was still tied with one other shooter and we had to shoot off again. The final tiebreaker was pretty intense, but I kept my focus and ended up beating the other shooter by two points in the final round of the shoot off to secure second-place.”
Bryant humbly closed the interview by sharing credit with those he feels has gotten him to this point, saying, “I feel God has truly blessed me with the ability to shoot in this sport and I want to thank my coaches, family, and everyone else that has supported me in this sport. I had the chance to meet some great shooters and make new friends with the boys that tied with me, as well as the boy that won the whole thing. Overall, it was a really cool experience.”