Winning a national title in anything is hard enough. Winning one in a sport that someone started playing just under three years ago? Now we are in rare territory, but that is exactly what Grace Vasicek achieved.
Vasicek, 15, started her archery career just two years ago, when the sport caught her eye after she joined the Hays County 4-H Shooting Sports team. While her first few months in the sport were a struggle, she continued to practice her craft with the help of her coaches, Robert Waring and Andrea Perkins. Eventually the techniques began to click, and Vasicek began her trek to becoming a national champion.
In just her second full year of competing in archery, Grace began to rack up victories in competitions. She started off 2018 with a 1st place finish in the Texas Field Archery Association State Championship, shooting barebow with a compound bow. The victory gave her a chance to compete in the 2018 National Field Archery Indoor tournament.
The national tournament took place in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was composed of a two-day shoot, with competitors taking 60 shots a day. Vasicek outshot the competition and came out as the 2018 NFAA Indoor National Champion. Vasicek outscored the second-place finisher by 27 points. Amongst the festivities of the big win, the young archer got to meet some of her idols and enjoyed the experience of the event all together.
“The experience and people I met was amazing,” Vasicek said. “I had the privilege of being introduced to two of my archery role models, Ren Sarns and John Demmer III. I made some friends across the U.S. who I still talk too. At the end of that weekend, I placed 1st, taking the title of National Champion, a title to keep forever.”
Vasicek competed again in June, where she finished fifth place overall in the 2018 National Archery Field Championships and qualified for the U.S. team trials.
Vasicek came just two slots short of making the national team. However, 2018 set the bar high for Grace and her future career, as her father, Rodney Vasicek, said following the event.
“We couldn’t be more proud of her and her positive attitude,” Rodney Vasicek said. “Look for more big things to come from Grace’s archery future.”
Grace has big plans as she looks toward the future. She plans to keep competing in state and national championships, as she builds on her already impressive resume. In 2019, the main goal for Vasicek is to make the United States Archery Team, and travel to Wellington, New Zealand to compete in the International Field Archery Association World Indoor Championships.