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Batesville archery team wins national competition

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Many people dream of having the opportunity to compete in a national competition.

A young group of Batesville students are living the dream.

Eagle Mountain Magnet Elementary students swept the national competition with their archery shooting skills last month.

The Batesville school took a team of 24 students, between fourth and sixth grades, to the Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program state tournament.

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. To prepare for the upcoming tournament, the team will continue to practice throughout the summer.

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

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