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HS Hurricanes Ranked #1 in South Carolina
By Marion Weaver
The festivities began at Willie Sue’s on the eve before the Hurricanes high schoolers competed for the State title in Sumter, South Carolina. The place held an air of joviality as archers and their families chatted and laughed and pored over the menus. The biggest issue of the night: what to eat. In the midst of such a relaxed atmosphere, it would have been hard for someone to know that the following morning these same students would be competing against the top archers in their state. This was not their first showdown at the State Tournament. Since its inception in 2013, the high school Hurricanes have maintained their standing as one of the top archery teams in not only the nation, but in the world. In fact, the Hurricanes unseated the nine-year running State Champions in 2015 by taking first place in Bullseye, and last season traveled to Orlando, Florida, where they placed tenth at the World Tournament. This year proves to be no different as the students continue to demonstrate a determination to win. After taking third place at Regionals with a team score of 3320 for the high school division, the ‘Canes began preparation for the State Tournament. With characteristic diligence, the students continued honing their skills and perfecting their aim in both Bullseye and IBO 3D, knowing that they would be competing with a statewide pool of the most talented archers. On March 28, their dedication and hard work were rewarded when the judges at State announced that the high school Hurricanes placed first in not only Bullseye, but in IBO 3D as well! They were now the number one archery team in South Carolina and would be heading to Nationals as a Tier 1 Team to compete with the best archers in the nation. Celebratory cheers and shouts exploded from the bleachers as the Hurricanes heard the news. With a score of 3367 in Bullseye, and 1671 in IBO 3D, this incredible group of students knew in that moment they were headed to Nationals. However, as if that news alone were not enough, three of the ‘Canes high school seniors had even more good news. Callen Pusateri placed first in IBO 3D for the male division and received $3,500 in scholarships. Katie McFarlane placed first for seniors in IBO 3D and second for seniors in Bullseye in the female division. She was also awarded $4,000 in scholarships! Katelyn Amos, another senior with the Hurricanes, also received $1000 in scholarship money. Although the high school students are indeed the most seasoned archers on the Hurricanes team, the middle and elementary school archers are already displaying a considerable amount of talent and skill in their divisions. In fact, Jake Guest, a fourth-grade student with the Hurricanes, placed first in the male division at Regionals, and the middle school team placed second at State in IBO 3D. Both divisions qualified for Nationals as well. These young students have started to demonstrate the same grit and tenacity as their older teammates who are often seen mentoring and encouragingtheir younger counterparts during the weekly practices. As Nationals approaches, the archers prepare for their annual Shoot-a-Thon, which takes place on Monday, April 30. Here they will have an opportunity to fundraise through sponsorship for their trip to Louisville in May. As the excitement builds and as the winds of a mighty storm swirl in anticipation, the Hurricanes high school division steps forward in confidence to meet its next challenge. This “Storm” shows no signs of weakening any time soon.