Kentucky Christian University's archers performed amazing feats in the season-long series of shoots in the Mid-South Conference and nationally.

3D SEASON - The KCU men and women's archery team kicked off the 2017-2018 season this weekend at the USCAA South Regional 3D Tournament and the first-ever Mid-South Conference 3D Tournaments. 

"For most of our team, this was their first real experience with 3-dimensional target shooting. Most have shot target archery for years, but not experienced getting out in the woods and shooting.  We have been practicing since school started and they were truly ready for this tournament. In the USCAA 3D shoot for men's compound, Nate Wilhelm ended the 40 animal shoot in the 5th ranked position in the region followed by Dakota Hines in the 9th ranked position with Freshman Austin Williamson moving on to qualify. For the women, freshman MacKenzie Tompkins shot her first 3D tournament ending in 9th place followed by her teammates Junior Sarah Purtee and freshman Makayla Bennett in the rankings of the top 20 females. In Basic Bow, Andrew Howell ranked 2nd, with Trdina following in 3rd place, and Freshman Olivia Price moving on to also qualify. 

“The Mid-South conference of the NAIA is 'tested the waters' in the sport of archery this weekend with its first conference championships. This was a great experience to be on the ground level of promoting archery at the collegiate level. I hope it will take off and become a sport that will really grow on the national level in the NAIA,” said Head Coach David Messer. “Our archers collectively brought home fifteen (15) medals from the Mid-South Conference sponsored tournament. I was so proud of our student-athletes in their first showing for the sport in the Mid-South Conference.”

Here is how the tournament played out for KCU. In the Individual Men and Women's divisions, there was a shoot down of the top 5 archers in the conference. Nate Wilhelm went into the competition ranked #2 and is now the first ever Mid-South Conference 3D Men's Champion in Compound winning his gold medal for KCU. Freshman MacKenzie Tompkins joined Wilhelm for the Mixed Team Compound match in head to head competition. They defeated both Pikeville University and the University of the Cumberlands where this compound duo brought two more gold medals home.

In the MSC 3D Championship for Women's Team Compound, Sarah Purtee, Makayla Bennett, and MacKenzie Tompkins lost their gold medal round but collecting three (3) more silver medals in the final match. Followed by the men's compound team of Dakota Hines, Nate Wilhelm, and Austin Williamson, KCU made its way to the gold medal round. The men's team took the silver in a well-shot round to bring the KCU medal count to nine (9). 

Gold, Silver, and Bronze were in the future for our Basic Bow shooters. Andrew Howell went into a one arrow shoot off to become the first Mid-South Conference Champion Men's Basic Bow winning the Gold. Nick Trdina, who is normally a recurve archer, won the Bronze medal in the shoot down of the top five archers in the Mid-South Conference. For team competition, Freshman Olivia Price joined the duo and competed in the men's basic bow division. Silver it was. In the shoot down for the women's basic bow division, Price's shoot down went to extra targets. After 3 extra targets to determine a winner, Price took the Silver.

MID SOUTH 3D CHAMPIONSHIP DETAILS

Nate Wilhelm

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship 1st Team Honors.

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Gold Medal Champion (Men's Individual Compound)

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Gold Medal Champion (Mixed Team Compound)

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Silver Medal (Men's Team Compound)

Andrew Howell

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship 1st Team Honors.

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Gold Medal Champion (Men's Individual Collegiate Basic Bow)

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Silver Medal (Mixed Team Collegiate Basic Bow)

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Silver Medal (Men's Team Collegiate Basic Bow)

2017 United States Collegiate Archery South Region 3D 1st Place (Men's Individual Collegiate Basic Bow)

Dakota Hines

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship 2nd Team Honors

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Silver Medal (Men's Team Compound)

Austin Williamson

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship 2nd Team Honors

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Silver Medal (Men's Team Compound)

Nick Trdina

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship 2nd Team Honors

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Silver Medal (Men's Team Collegiate Basic Bow)

2017 United States Collegiate Archery South Region 3D 3rd  Place (Men's Individual Collegiate Basic Bow)

Mackenzie Tompkins

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship 1st Team Honors.

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Gold Medal Champion (Mixed Team Compound)

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Silver Medal (Women's Team Compound)

Sarah Purtee

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship 2nd Team Honors.

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Silver Medal (Women's Compound)

Makayla Bennett

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship 2nd Team Honors.

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Silver Medal (Women's Compound)

Olivia Price

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship 2nd Team Honors.

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Bronze Medal (Women's Collegiate Basic Bow)

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Silver Medal (Mixed Team Collegiate Basic Bow)

2017 Mid South Conference 3D Championship Silver Medal (Men's Team Collegiate Basic Bow)

Fifteen medals overall were the total count at the end of the Mid South Conference 3D Championships. As the Knights move on to their next challenge at the United States Collegiate 3D Nationals, Coach Messer stated he had high hopes and expectations of the outcome.

INDOOR SEASON

The Kentucky Christian University Knights traveled to Madisonville to compete in the inaugural 2018 Mid-South Conference Indoor Championships. Using the results from the USCAA South Region Indoor Championships as seeding for the event on Sunday, KCU would earn four 1st Team All-Conference spots as well as four 2nd Team All-Conference positions.

Kentucky Christian currently sits in second place in the MSC with 9.5 points and only trails the University of the Cumberlands (12 points) in the overall conference standings after UC captured first place in both the 3D and Indoor championships. Campbellsville University has 7.5 points which lands them in third place followed by the University of Pikeville (7), Bethel College (4) and Georgetown College (1). These totals will be combined with the results of the upcoming MSC Outdoor championship (April) to determine who owns the overall MSC title.

ALL-MID-SOUTH CONFERENCE BOW DIVISIONS

Winning 1st team All-Conference honors in individual competition was Andrew Howell (Gold Medalist in Men's Barebow) and Briley Hearrin (Gold Medalist in Women's Barebow).

Winning 1st team All-Conference honors for Mixed Male/Female Barebow saw the team of Howell and Hearrin top the podium once again for the Gold Medal.

Olivia Price joined the duo to receive 1st Team All-Conference and another Gold medal in Team Rounds of the Barebow Division.

2nd team All-Conference honors were awarded to the Men's Compound Team of Dakota Hines, Nate Wilhelm and Austin Williamson who won the Silver Medal in head to head completion.

2nd team All-Conference honors also were awarded to the Mixed Male/Female Compound team of Mackenzie Tompkins and Nate Wilhelm.

In the Women's Barebow class, Olivia Price received 2nd Team All-Conference team honors to round out team honors.

Nick Trdina also earned 2nd Team honors in the Men's Recurve division.

“To have a small program like ours finish in the top two with only nine archers against state universities and large colleges is an amazing accomplishment for the program. It says a lot about the quality of archers who represent KCU. I have a "prayer list" of young athletes I am recruiting for next season and I hope to add some more outstanding young people to next year's podium appearances and medal counts,” said Head Coach David Messer. 

“It is said that “winning is not everything,' but that is exactly what the men and women's varsity archery team is doing at Kentucky Christian,” said Head Coach David Messer. “In the United States Collegiate Archery National stage and in the newly established NAIA Mid-South Region our athletes are bringing home the medals. I am so proud of EVERY archer in our program. They are bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals at every tournament.”

The team competed in two tournaments over the Jan. 18-20 weekend. The USCAA qualifying tournament saw three archers place high in the South Region.  

Junior Briley Hearrin placed 1st among the women in the South Region Women's Barebow Division and scored 930 points to lead all women and winning the Gold medal.

Nick Trdina racked up 907 points to place 2nd and win the Silver medal in the Men's Recurve Division.

Mackenzie Tompkins competed in the Women's Compound Division and ended the competition with a score of 1,131 points taking 3rd place and the Silver Medal.

Joining their teammates in the women's division, Olivia Price and Sarah Purtee competed well with Top 12 rankings.

In the men's divisions Nate Wilhelm and Andrew Howell made the top 8 cut, followed by Dakota Hines and Austin Williamson. 

Coach Messer said, “Our archers are up there at the top of the race with the best of them. I am so proud of our entire team and how they have represented the University. They are all champions of character!”

MID-SOUTH CONFERENCE FINAL STANDINGS

"This was an amazing year for KCU archery. This first year of competition in the Mid-South Conference was a great beginning and seems to be laying the groundwork for archery to be recognized in other conferences within the NAIA. Our program may be small in numbers, but we were honored in many ways this season which is a tribute to the quality of our athletes,” Coach Messer said. “Finishing 2nd place overall in the Mid-South Conference, above other much larger universities, speaks volumes that KCU is definitely an archery school.”

As an academically strong school, KCU was honored to have four archers named Academic All-Americans. At the season-ending banquet, Dakota Hines, Nick Trdina, Briley Hearrin and Sarah Purtee were presented with the highest academic award within the MSC. The NAIA Champions of Character award is an award given to athletes who have exhibited outstanding acts of kindness, character, and service. In the Mid-South Conference, two male and two female athletes were nominated for this honor. One of those individuals was KCU's Junior Barebow Medalist Briley Hearrin. Hearrin was recognized for her outstanding commitment to hard work in the classroom and her service to others.

In what is an amazing feat, EVERY member of the KCU archery team was honored at the annual banquet as All-Conference. During the evening of honors, Freshman Mackenzie Tompkins, who shot for the gold in Vegas and won the mid-south Gold in Women's Compound was recognized by all the coaches in the Conference and selected as Freshman Shooter of the Year.

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