New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Lance Cherry, (505) 476-8003
Public contact: (888) 248-6866



RIO RANCHO – Mescalero Apache School placed five archers among the top 10 finishers to win their division and become the first Native American team to win a state championship at the New Mexico National Archery in the Schools State Tournament.

Mescalero Apache School takes top honors at State Archery in the Schools Tournament
Almost 300 archers from across New Mexico braved stormy weather and difficult travel conditions to compete in the annual event at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho on Saturday. Mescalero Apache School and team winners in two other divisions will advance to the National Archery in the Schools Tournament May 7-9 In Louisville, Ky.

Competitors shot 15 arrows each from distances of 10 and 15 meters, trying for a perfect score of 300.

Dalton Hamilton scored 270 out of a possible 300 to lead Mescalero to the High School Division title. Mescalero’s team score of 2,979 easily outdistanced second-place Clovis, 2,675; and third-place Albuquerque Homeschool, 2,589.

Overall individual honors across all divisions went to Clint Valerio of Aztec High School. He scored 24 bull’s-eyes on his way to an overall score of 291, just nine shy of perfect. Cheyanna Arellano, a fifth-grader from Seven Bar Elementary in Albuquerque, was the top overall female archer. She scored 262 to lead her team to the Elementary Division championship for the third straight year.

James Monroe Middle School scored 2,801 to win the team title in the Middle School Division. Aaron Lawrence of Albuquerque Institute of Math and Science took the division’s individual championship with 20 bull’s-eyes and a total score of 286.
For complete tournament scores, please visit the NASP website and click on the Tournaments tab.

Approximately 100 public schools across New Mexico participate in the National Archery in the Schools Program. Schools receive free training for instructors, and the Department of Game and Fish provides 50 percent of the funding for each school to purchase archery equipment. It costs about $3,000 to outfit a school or organization with bows, targets, backstops and other equipment to get a program started. Many schools incorporate the program into existing physical education or after-school activities.

Federal funding through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service makes National Archery in the Schools Program possible. The Pittman-Robertson Act of 1937 dedicated federal excise taxes collected from manufacturers of firearms, ammunition and archery equipment to national wildlife restoration programs, which include hunter education, shooting and archery programs in addition to wildlife surveys, transplants, and the purchase and management of wildlife management areas.

For more information about the National Archery in the Schools Program or how your school can get involved, contact Brian Guzman, archery coordinator for the Department of Game and Fish at (505) 222-4726 or