Local archers have success at NASP National Tournament

St. John's Academy had nine top 10 finishers.

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St. John's Academy's Bryson Corell (far left), Ava Conway (black pants) and Henry Braun (grey sweatpants) shoot at a bullseye during the 2023 NASP Western Nationals on April 28, 2023, in Sandy, Utah.
Contributed / Erica Althoff

SANDY, Utah — After succeeding at the National Archery In the Schools Program’s state tournament, multiple kids from St. John’s Academy qualified for the 2023 NASP Western Nationals Tournament which took palace in Sandy, Utah from April 28-29.

“It was really exciting for the archers to shoot at the national tournament and be at an environment that they haven’t been in before and go up against some of the best archers in the nation,” St. John’s head coach Chris Althoff said.

In total, St. John’s Academy had 21 kids compete in both the 3D competition and the bullseye competition. The most successful archer in the bullseye competition and the 3D competition was McKenna Lipetzky who finished in second for fourth-grade girls in the bullseye and first for fourth-grade girls in the 3D. Lipetzky had a combined score of 519 in the two competitions. Lipetzky said she enjoyed meeting her competitors from around the country.

“It feels good because I know that me and my team put a lot of effort into succeeding this year and trying our hardest between fundraising and practices and everything,” Lipetzky said. “Just really pushing to do good.”

As a result of her performance at the national competition, Lipetzky has qualified for the 2023 NASP Open Championships in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from June 8 through June 10. Although Lipetzky’s mother Jenn said they don’t think she will be going to that tournament this year.


Lipetzky was not the only archer to finish in the top five for their age group as Leah Mann finished in fifth out of 80 fifth-grade girls in the bullseye competition. Mann said her favorite part of the competition was the time she got to spend with her competitors and teammates. Mann said she tried to stay in the moment when she was shooting.

“Take a deep breath,” Mann said. “If you shoot a bad arrow, forget about it and know even if I shoot bad, it’s really good just to go to nationals and I was very proud of myself no matter what.”

As she looks ahead to next year, Mann said she is hoping to improve upon her fifth-place finish. The same opinion was echoed by Lipetzky.

“It feels very good especially being able and knowing I did place out of the country and that I did make it to worlds,” McKenna Lipetzky said. “I will continue though because it sis very fun and I know that I’m good at it. I’m good at it, I love it, it’s very fun and it’s just a great time overall.”

The kids from St. John’s Academy were part of a group of 367 total kids to participate in the event from North Dakota and 1,763 total kids from around the United States.

“There was a lot of North Dakota people that beat me in the past and I beat before,” McKenna said. “So, I settled in where I was nervous at first but I had to say, I’m at nationals, I’m one of the best in the county and I am here. That’s where it kicked in that I can do this and I’m here because I’m a good shooter.”

Both girls went with their whole families to the tournament and Althoff.

“It was a lot of fun,” Althoff said. “It was a fun experience and it was fun to see the kids come together, shoot great together and have a lot of personal bests. In the process, bring the season to a good close.”


The best part of the experience for Mann’s mother Megan was the growth that her daughter has shown through the sport.

“It’s really rewarding to watch them,” Megan Mann said. “Last year was Leah’s first year shooting and I distinctly remember her first shoot being incredibly nervewracking and we didn’t know what we were doing and to see the growth from last year to this year, placing at state, placing at nationals is I think an incredible achievement. I’m very proud.”

St. John’s Academy principal Jeff Trumbauer said he is hoping the experience teaches the students that they can accomplish anything in life if they work hard at it.

“I think it goes beyond just building their abilities as archers,” Trumbauer said. “This experience as all activities and athletics are, are designed to help them grow in confidence and individual confidence and also to grow in understanding of what they are capable of accomplishing when they put forth their best effort. I think this experience showed them that if you work really hard at something good things can happen.”

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St. John's Academy's Ethan and Brady Althoff (red and grey shirts) shoot during the 2023 NASP Western Nationals on April 28, 2023 in Sandy, Utah.
Contributed / Erica Althoff

My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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