AR: Batesville archery team wins national competition

BATESVILLE – Many people dream of having the opportunity to
compete in a national competition. For a young group of Arkansas
students, this dream came true. Eagle Mountain Magnet Elementary of
Batesville swept the national competition with their archery
shooting skills last month.

The school took a team of 24 students between fourth and sixth
grades to the Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program
state tournament. Qualifying scores are the sum of the top 12
archers, with at least four shooters of the opposite gender. The
team placed first in the state tournament with a score of 3,175,
securing a spot in the national tournament in Louisville, Ky.

Individual archer shoot-outs were held at the state level.
Females from Eagle Mountain Magnet nearly dominated the top five
with Natalie Craft placing first, Dailyn Crain third, Celsey Wood
fourth and McLain Stalker fifth. In the male division, Ronnie
Jeffrey came in second, followed by Kyle Rutherford in third.

The national competition was held at the Kentucky Fair and
Exposition Center. 390 teams from 34 states participated in the
competition, which totaled 6,956 shooters. A third of the
competitors this year were girls. NASP originated in 2002 with 21
Kentucky middle schools. The organization has grown to 9,000
schools and 2 million student archers this year.

Eagle Mountain placed second at the national championship with a
score of 3,237, a mere seven points behind first place. It will
compete in the world tournament the first week of October at Disney
World in Orlando, Fla.

ANASP was established at Eagle Mountain Magnet Elementary three
years ago, but the students were no rookies. The team has qualified
for the world tournament every year. In fact, the school won the
world tournament the first year it participated in the program.

According to Susan Parker, team coach, students must complete
all physical education requirements before they are allowed to join
the archery club as an extracurricular activity. Club members try
out for competitive team positions. Team members must attend
mandatory practice three times a week. Parker said that she had a
great group of kids who were very eager to practice, and often
requested additional practices.

Parker added that her team was very excited about attending the
world tournament to meet many new people and to build lasting
relationships. To prepare for the upcoming tournament, the team
will continue to practice throughout the summer. She says the
phenomenal group of parents has started planning fundraising
activities, such as a 3-D shoot and car wash.

Schools that would like to get involved with ANASP should
contact Curtis Gray, ANASP coordinator, at 877-676-6963.


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