CPP archery club competes at 2024 Vegas Shoot competition

By Alejandro Barlow, Feb. 20, 2024

Cal Poly Pomona’s archery club competed at the Vegas Shoot archery competition from Friday, Feb. 2 to Sunday, Feb. 4, with the individual competitors placing high in their divisions while representing CPP.

The Vegas Shoot is the world’s largest and most prestigious indoor archery tournament. Archers competed for prize money and scholarships. Five archers from CPP’s archery club competed across four different flights, with four of the archers reaching the top 15 in their events.

Nearly 4,000 archers competed in the event, held at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Enterprise, Nevada. The archers shot at a 14-centimeter target from 18 meters away and had a 300 round each day. The 300 round is one time, each day where competitors shoot 30 arrows with a possible 10 points per arrow for a total of 300 points for the round.

Inkar Suragan, a visual communication design student and archery club president, competed in the Olympic Recurve Bow category and others in the club competed in the Recurve Barebow category.

In the ninth flight of the recurve event, Suragan placed 21 out of 32 competitors. Also competing in recurve was Sam Satin. In the recurve flight eight of 15, he placed third of 32 competitors. In the Barebow category, Josh De Leon placed ninth out of 32 in recurve barebow flight eight out of 12. Competing in recurve barebow flight 10 out of 12, Ali Abdul Mateen-El and Zion Guerrero placed ninth and 13th out of 32 respectively.

Suragan said archery is more of a mental game than a physical discipline once she understood how to shoot consistently. She competed next to a Paralympic athlete and compared herself to his scores.

“I started seeing my score and I was like, OK, something is going wrong, I need to fix it,” Suragan said. “I know I can do better than this and I just kept getting in my head. I kept looking at my score, which is like the worst thing you can possibly do as an archer. I found out that when I start thinking about the fact that I have to do better, I start doing worse.”

Zion Guerrero, an electromechanical system engineering technology student and archery club member, shot in the recurve barebow category in the competition. Guerrero said he took time in planning the competition out and was placed in the flight and achieved the total score as planned.

“Everything just clicked, and maybe it’s because I’m an engineer, and you know that’s what I go to Cal Poly for,” said Guerrero. “And I just like things to be perfectly planned and laid out. Even though, you got to adapt and make adjustments on the fly as things go on.”

Ali Abdul Mateen-El is an alumnus of CPP and a current member of the club. The Vegas Shoot was his first archery competition, and he placed ninth in his flight.

“It was a lot of fun, and there’s a lot of camaraderie between all the archers, but especially like the barebow crew because it’s just like a more of a family environment,” said Abdul Mateen-El. “Every couple of minutes somebody would yell barebow and then the entire competition hall, both sides, would yell barebow in response. And so, we had this thing where there was nothing that would make you feel uncomfortable. I guess being there, it felt very welcoming.”

Abdul Mateen-El shot his average score of 125 in the competition, an uncommon feat in archery competition.

Each flight shot at designated times, with some as early as 7 a.m. while others were as late as 9 p.m., and the club members supported each other as they competed throughout the day.

“You think of archery, and I feel like people think of when they watch movies like Hunger Games or Hawkeye,” Guerrero said. “And some people think this is cool, combat skill or maybe an action type of thing. For myself, I just love the problem-solving aspect of it. But there was so much more technical stuff, so much more problem solving and calculating that you have to do. It takes a lot of mental focus.”

The archery club typically meets on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students interested in the club can find more information and a link to the club’s Discord server via its Instagram account, @cpp_archery.

Feature image courtesy of Inkar Suragan

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