With his father firmly planted in the background leaning against a wall at the Marysville Youth & Civic Center during an open session, Yuba City’s Caleb Quiocho fires his bow at a target 20 yards away.
Each shot either hits the bull’s-eye, or comes within centimeters of the target. Quiocho repeats the trend over and over for hours as he works his craft as one of the best compound archery shooters around.
Quiocho, 13, who is an eighth grader at AeroSTEM Academy in Yuba City, recently won his fourth Las Vegas Shoot in the last five years earlier this year, accomplishing the feat by one point over his second-place finisher.
The Vegas Shoot is known as the largest and most prestigious indoor archery tournament in the world, bringing together nearly 4,000 archers from around the globe from a variety of skill levels, according to The Vegas Shoot website.
Quiocho, who has competed against both domestic and international competition, won his last Vegas Shoot against about 80 competitors in a domestic-only event.
Chase Quiocho, his father who also shoots a bow, said it was by coincidence that the 2022 Vegas Shoot was domestic-only.
There were other international competitors present in Las Vegas in February, Chase Quiocho said.
Archery, like many other sports, took a brief hiatus during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, eliminating all competitions, Chase Quiocho said.
The break allowed Chase Quiocho to give his son, Caleb, time to think about what he really wants.
“There was a point where I was thinking I took his childhood,” Chase Quiocho said. “He was out practicing at least six days a week.”
Then the COVID regulations hit, and Chase Quiocho instructed his son to put his bow down, take a break and develop some other interests.
He said you can come back once you have had substantial time to think about what you really want, Chase Quiocho recalled.
It didn’t take long for Caleb Quiocho to rekindle his love for target archery, Chase Quiocho said.
Chase Quiocho remembered Caleb Quiocho saying, “Dad, I want to shoot my bow.”
And so the training continued.
Currently, Caleb Quiocho, who has been shooting since he was 4, has an entourage both locally and across the country that helps him hone his game.
Tod Hawkins of Yuba City is a professional archer who works with Quiocho on the Wilderness Archery Team in Rocklin.
Then there is George Ryals IV, who runs Archery Learning Center out of Snellville, Ga.
Quiocho began working with Ryals when he was 8 years old, learning how to perfect technique, mental game and accuracy, Chase Quiocho said.
But archery is complex and requires lots of coaching. Carl Ambrose of Grass Valley helps Caleb Quiocho with mental game strategies, not to mention the mechanics of the bow itself.
The two are always working on how to improve the equipment for accuracy, Chase Quiocho said.
The sport of compound archery is 10 rounds of 30 shots each. Chase Quiocho said if the competitor nails his three shots each round within the inner circle of the bull’s-eye, it makes for a perfect score of 300.
There is one shot better than the inner circle, Chase Quiocho said. It’s the X, which is basically a bull’s-eye, and is used in competitions as tiebreakers.
“You are trying to hit a dime at 20 yards,” said Chase Quiocho, when referring to the X spot.
Currently, Chase Quiocho’s role is to sit back and enjoy watching his son compete. He said he used to compete both outdoor and in compound archery, but has taken a step back
“I enjoy watching him do his thing,” said the elder Quiocho. “If he needs anything, I am there.”
With COVID regulations loosening, Caleb Quiocho hopes to expand his role in archery to world competitions where he can further test his skills against a wider range of competition.