Archers at Mead Hall Episcopal School have a longstanding history of performing well in most of their tournaments. That record continued during a spring tournament at the Columbia Fairgrounds.

“I am very pleased with the performance of Mead Hall's archery team,” said David Nichols, one of the Mead Hall coaches, in a news release from the school. “The Lower and Upper school members represented Mead Hall well. I am especially pleased with the 4th grade on their performance since they have never shot at a tournament before.”

Almost 60 public and private schools participated in the regional event. Approximately 1,400 archers shot along two walls, including approximately 300 elementary students; almost 400 middle school students; and more than 700 high school students. Students from Mead Hall included grades 4-12.

“We were lucky to be able to shoot along the short wall, meaning 28 archers were lined up shooting at the same time,” Nichols said. “I was very proud of all the archers from Mead Hall, especially those who had never been to one of these events. All commands are given by whistle and they followed them precisely.”

Archers on the team credit the coaches with their performance in Columbia. Along with Nichols, Roger Pizio coaches the Mead Hall Panthers. Pizio has coached archers for more than 40 years and runs the City of Aiken’s archery program at the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center.

“It is such an honor to be part of the Mead Hall Archery Team,” said Claire Collum, a seventh-grader on the Aiken Prep Campus. “Papa Nichols and Coach Pizio give so much of their time to have archery practice every school day. They are patient with us and take the time to work with each archer individually.”

Not only did Mead Hall archers perform well, but they enjoyed it too.

"I am having so much fun," said sixth-grader Anna Ewers right after shooting five arrows at 10 meters.

Although this season may be over, the team is already looking ahead.

“I can’t wait to start again next year,” Collum said.

The top Mead Hall Panthers scores for the tournament were as follows:

• Top Male, Elementary: Nicholas Starlings, fourth grade – 197.

• Top Female, Elementary: Taylor Houck, fifth grade – 226.

• Top Male, Middle School: Dean Bryce, seventh grade – 198.

• Top Female, Middle School: Taylor Baisch, sixth grade – 246.

• Top Male, High School: Michael Stanley, ninth grade – 242.

• Top Female, High School: Catherine Chadwick, 10th grade – 218.

South Aiken's Matthew Reid receives National Merit Scholarship

Matthew F. Reid, a student at South Aiken High School, has received a National Merit $2,500 Scholarship.

The 2,500 Merit Scholar designees were chosen from a talent pool of more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program, according to a news release from the program.

National Merit $2500 Scholarship winners are the finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills and potential for success in rigorous college studies.

USCA students win awards at Academy of Science meeting

USC Aiken's College of Sciences and Engineering was well-represented at the 92nd-annual Meeting of the South Carolina Academy of Science at Francis Marion University.

In total, 24 USCA STEM students gave either poster or oral presentations at this year's meeting. These students were mentored by eight different faculty from the USCA's Department of Biology and Geology and the Department of Chemistry and Physics.

Several students and their mentors received awards as follows:

• Best overall undergraduate presentation: Amanda Askins and Dr. Nathan Hancock.

• First place, Cell and Molecular Biology, oral presentation: Amanda Askins and Dr. Nathan Hancock.

• First place, Molecular Biology, oral presentation: McKenzie Spires and Dr. William Jackson.

• First place, Field and Zoology; Environmental Science, oral presentation: Wesley Brison and Dr. Michele Harmon.

• First place, Molecular Biology, poster presentation: Reese King and Dr. Nathan Hancock.

• First place, Environmental Science, poster presentation: Shalyn Najjar and Dr. Andy Dyer.

• Second place, Molecular Biology, poster presentation: Rachel Moment and Dr. April DeLaurier.

• Second place, Molecular Biology, oral presentation: Kali Wiggins and Dr. April DeLaurier.

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.