Athens Area High School 2010 graduate and Ulster resident Samantha Lantz is gearing up for a trip to Utah in May with the Pennsylvania College of Technology women's archery team.

The U.S. Intercollegiate Archery Championships are held in Cedar City, Utah from May 16 to May 19 this year, and for Lantz, this is an opportunity to let her ability show.

Her capabilities behind a bow can be described only as natural, as she began shooting bows less than a year ago with intentions of joining the school's archery team and maybe begin hunting as well. She practiced in her spare time and by December tried out for the team and, as her mother Becky Lantz explained, "they welcomed her with open arms."

Lantz was placed on the team as a women's recurve bow competitor.

"I enjoy the competitive nature of archery, and I enjoy always striving to better my score," she said.

Lantz said her goal for this year is to simply keep improving, as she has already scored a first place finish at an indoor competition hosted by Penn State earlier this year. She went on to finish eighth in the nation as a women's indoor shooter, an accomplishment which see said is "not bad considering the competition. I was shooting against archers who have shot their whole lives and hold numerous national titles."

With good weather having arrived last week, the school entered in its first outdoor shoot of the season, where the women's recurve team took second place with the help of Lantz. The team is made up of Lantz and two other archers, Holly Neely and Katie Reitbauer.

Currently, Lantz is preparing for graduation from Penn College in May with an associate degree in mass media communications, and is planning to go Penn State to continue for a bachelor's degree.

"I've been accepted to a few other places too and still need to make a final decision," she explained.

Regardless of her school choice, she is not planning on parting ways with archery.

"No matter where I go I will definitely be shooting," she said.

Lantz has even received some tips from Penn State archery head coach Ron Ayers, as the two teams meet often at various competitions throughout the year.

"If I do decide to go to Penn State, Ron has assured me there is a spot on the team for me in women's recurve," Lantz said.

Tim Zyla can be reached at (570) 265-1634; or e-mail: tzyla@thedailyreview.com.