ENCINITAS – From Minecraft to national tournaments 2,000 miles from home, Cardiff resident Luca Pierpan Tatro, 15, has come a long way with his love for archery.
Earlier this month Pierpan Tatro, a junior from San Dieguito Academy High School, returned from Decatur, Ala, where he won a silver medal in the Barebow Cadet Men division at the USA Archery Junior Olympic National Tournament. Archery Development (JOAD).
The young archer admitted his own nervousness as he approached his first national tournament.
“Of course there was a lot of anxiety going with me, but my strategy is to ignore it,” Pierpan Tatro told The Coast News. “Don’t necessarily pretend it’s not there, but acknowledge it and move on. Just accept that I’m a little scared and want to do well and let that push me to do well.
A resident of the Cardiff area, Pierpan Tatro also faced adverse weather conditions he was not used to when training outdoors in Southern California.
“Alabama was an interesting place, to say the least, a little change of scenery from California,” said Pierpan Tatro. “The second day of filming was the main doozy. We had to wait in our car after each shot, usually for at least an hour, as we kept getting weather warnings for ridiculously heavy rain and lightning at times. “
But the North County contender managed to withstand the inclement weather and clinch second place in the event, even exceeding his own expectations for the tournament.
After the qualifying rounds Pierpan Tatro placed fourth in his division and in the playoff rounds he knocked out the top-ranked competitor en route to second place.
“Of course I had the crazy dream of getting into the top ten, which is also what my coaches wanted,” said Pierpan Tatro. “So they were very happy with the result, but my main goal for really any day of shooting is to stay consistent.”
Pierpan Tatro started archery when he was in seventh grade, becoming interested in bow and arrow after playing Minecraft, an open-world creation and construction video game that uses the bow. and arrows for combat mechanics.
“One day my parents said ‘hey he doesn’t do any other sport, maybe we can try to get him in this one so they booked a private lesson for me and it all started from there “, Pierpan Tatro.
He quickly turned to the mental aspects of the sport and joined Xcelerated Archery Training where he is now the co-captain of his team.
Pierpan Tatro focuses on a recurve recurve bow, a light version of modern Olympic bows but without a sight or stabilizer, which he says allows him to focus more on the mental aspect of shooting.
“The main reason I stayed with the sport, and the joke I love to tell everyone, is that there is a reason I chose the less physically active,” said Pierpan Tatro. “I am what my parents like to call a thinker. And I love archery because it forces my head to work harder than my limbs.
Currently, the Olympics do not have an event for bareback recurve archery.
Pierpan Tatro said it crossed his mind that if he switched to an Olympic-style archery he could probably have a decent chance of making a future Olympic team.
“It’s not something I’m very interested in at the moment,” said Pierpan Tatro. “I like to travel but it’s not my favorite thing in the world. But it really sounds more complicated than I really want it to be. “
He says he prefers his “simple stuff” so far with his bareback recurve bow.
The most immediate goal for Pierpan Tatro, who is a 4.0 student at the Academy of San Dieguito and a member of the school’s robotics team, is to be part of an archery team at his next level of education.
“I want to try to be a part of a college team for whatever college I end up going to if I can,” said Pierpan Tatro. “But other than that, my personal goals are just to try and shoot better.”