Trinidad sisters on target to become professional archers

Kaelyn Rodrigues | Staff Writer

Sophomores Jazmine and Josie Trinidad have their eye on the target.

The sisters have been archers since they were in elementary school. They train in both indoor and outdoor archery and learn from several coaches, including 1976, 1984 and 1988 Olympic gold and silver medalist Darrell Pace, a Cincinnati native.

Sophomores Jazmine and Josie Trinidad started archery when they were around eight years old; the sisters use local competitions, at which they score among the highest, as practice for larger state and national tournaments.

“We started archery when we were about eight,” Jazmine said. “We used to be in a (shooting) club named 4H. They also had an archery program and we really excelled into that. Then we got to the point where they didn’t have much to teach us anymore because it was just a beginner class, so they told us about a competitive archery club named JOAD (Junior Olympic Archery Development), and they recommended us to go over there. We really wanted to learn more about the sport.”

While some athletes feel pressure at tournaments, Josie said she is not affected much by the strain of competing.

“I don’t find competitions very stressful at all,” Josie said. “The only exception is when I’m actually neck to neck with competitors and when I’m trying my best to beat my personal scores, but it’s actually really fun to meet new people and hang out with other archers.”

With local tournaments every weekend acting as practice for the more extensive national ones, the sisters participate in a variety of competitions. Jazmine said she doesn’t focus on beating her competitors, but rather her personal records. 

“The NFAA (National Field Archery Association) Indoor Nationals is pretty much the biggest indoor tournament of the season,” Jazmine said. “Everybody’s competing in that one, it’s the one you’re preparing for all year. There’s so many competitors in my division, well over 100 people who competed. Of course I practice to beat the other competitors, but the most important thing for me is to make my personal best and go up from there.”

While the Trinidad sisters do benefit from competing with each other and other archers, they find that most of their motivation comes from trying to beat their own personal records and improve accuracy.

One aspect of the sport that Jazmine said she enjoys is getting to interact with fellow archers and discuss their different archery techniques.

“With archery, you really get to meet a lot of new people,” Jazmine said. “A lot of the competitors I shoot against have been very nice and helpful. At outdoor nationals, I was next to the number one girl in the nation. You get to learn new things about people’s different methods of shooting and stuff like that.”

In the future, Jazmine said she would like to continue archery both in college and professionally. Currently, she is working towards getting a scholarship as a student archer.

“There are a lot of scholarship opportunities for children who do archery,” Jazmine said. “I have coaches that are looking at me and my scores to see if they’d be interested in giving me a scholarship. I want to get up to a national level in competing, and in the future I think pro archery is something that I’d be very interested in.”

While Josie said she also plans to carry on with archery in college both competitively and recreationally, she would like to teach the sport as well one day.

“I would probably just go to college and shoot competitively, but also just for fun, because that’s what archery is for me,” Josie said. “Maybe I will help people in the future and teach kids one day. It’s something that’s been with me for a long time, since I was a kid, and it’s something that I enjoy.”

Photos by Tanner Pearson.