Young archers to compete at nationals

by Sophie Evan on April 11, 2013

Gladys Jung Elementary School Archers

Gladys Jung Elementary School Archers

Grade school archers in Bethel will soon be competing at the national level. After winning at State championships they have qualified to shoot their arrows at the National Archers in School Program in Louisville, Kentucky next month.

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Five students from the Gladys Jung elementary school will represent Alaska as champion archers. One of them is 6th grader Riley Johnson.

Cut 5 “it went really good, but I was nervous, I was shaking.” :04

At state, Riley shot 246-points out of 300. Her father is the Archery coach, Rafe Johnson.

Cut 4 “ so 4th graders all the way up to 12th graders shoot the same bow.” :05

Johnson says the team didn’t have to travel in order to compete in the state tournament.

Cut 2 “ the cool thing is it’s virtual, they want an honest archer, so what we do, we shoot our own tournaments in our own gyms, we submit our scores on-line.” :12

The national competition however will not be virtual.

Cut 3 “ they will be shooting live against nine-thousand other kids.” :06

The Gladys Jung archery program started four years ago, and the young archers have made State every year. They practice twice a week shooting a target that’s about 2 feet across, from a distance of 10 and 15 meters or what is about 30 and 50 feet.

Johnson says they train for three weeks before they are even allowed to pick up a bow and arrow.

Cut 1 “ it’s all technique, where to put their feet, how to place their hands on the bow, how to properly knock an arrow, being safe, it’s not physical, it’s more mental and procedural.” :15

6th grader, and national’s qualifier, Gareth Rice, explains a crucial technique.

Cut 6 “if you’re left hand (eye) dominant, you shoot pulling the string with your left hand, and if you’re right eye dominate you pull with your right hand.” :09

Gareth is the son of Skip and Sheerise Rice. Gareth shot 262 points out of 300. The other state champions are; 4th grader Rowen Hartman, 5th grader Simon Snow, and 6th grader Darren Cabolos.

Johnson says they had qualifiers last year, but couldn’t compete at nationals due to a lack of funds. This year, they are holding a fundraiser spaghetti feed April 20th at the Lions club to help with their trip.

For KYUK news, I’m Sophie Evan.

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