Name: Seneca Francis
Location: Smithfield, Utah
Noteworthy experience: In October 2008 she participated in the Youth World Championship archery competition in Antalya, Turkey, where she helped the U.S. team win a gold medal. They defeated the Russian team 224 to 223 and set a world record in the 16–18-year-old compound bow category.
Seneca Francis is a straight shooter in more ways than one. Her archery skills have led to great accomplishments. And when it comes to her commitment to gospel standards, she’ll let you know that she’s aiming for eternity. Find out a little more about her.
You’re a relative newcomer to archery, yet you compete at a world-class level. How did it all start? I’ve been doing archery for about four years. My brother had a bow, and I started shooting and liked it more than he did. I would go into the backyard and shoot at the tree stump. I started competition about three years ago. At first I went to a youth league. Then they sent me to JOAD [Junior Olympic Archery Development] because it’s more advanced.
What was it like competing in the Youth World Championship in Turkey? It was fun. My mom went with me. It was my first time going anywhere outside of the states around us. It was a totally different culture. It was fun and interesting to see how other people live. I met some good friends on other teams, and we keep in touch.
Did you have any experiences that strengthened your testimony? We were about the only Church members at the competition, so that was kind of weird for me. But it makes you stronger. Others would ask, “Why don’t you want to go and drink with us?” or “Why don’t you want to wear the short shorts?” And I would say, “We don’t do that.” I’m glad for what we have. Also, my mom and I were happy that we were safe the whole time. We prayed a lot. My grandma prayed every day that we’d be OK. Prayer works.
How do you relate archery to the gospel? It takes a lot of hard work and sticking with it. You have to always believe you can do it, even if you think you can’t. You also need a lot of concentration. If you lose concentration, you miss the shot. A tiny jerk can throw it off. In the gospel, you need to be steadfast and sure.
Would you like to share a favorite scripture? 1 Nephi 3:7. You can go and do anything you’re supposed to. You can do whatever the Lord wants you to. If He wants you to do it, you can do it.
Photograph by David A. Edwards