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Arkansas state archery championship to draw attention


HOT SPRINGS — Thousands of students will line up and take their shot at a state championship title this weekend at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Archery in the Schools State Championship, March 1-2, at the Hot Springs Convention Center and Bank OZK Arena.
Aimee Swaim, the AGFC’s interim Archery in the Schools coordinator, has been working at a fever pitch to make the final preparations for the Friday-Saturday event.
“This is the 16th state championship of Archery in the Schools,” Swaim said. “We’re excited that it’s finally here and we’re ready to crown some champions.”
The Archery in the Schools program (formerly Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program) began as a pilot project with 10 schools in 2005. Based on the National Archery in the Schools program, AIS brings competitive archery into elementary, middle and high schools throughout Arkansas, and a state championship event was added in 2009 to complete the year’s activities.
All of the teams participating this weekend qualified by being the top 30 archery teams in one of three age-based divisions during various state qualification shoots.
“There were 24 state qualifiers between October and January, and teams could compete in as many as they wished, with their best score counting toward qualification,” Swaim said. “We have an additional six individuals who will shoot whose team did not qualify. Those were the highest scoring male and female shooters and the highest remaining shooter regardless of sex from the middle school and high school divisions whose team did not qualify for the championship.”
The elementary (fourth and fifth grades) and middle school (sixth through eighth grades) divisions compete on Friday beginning at 8:30 a.m., with the day expected to wrap up at 4 p.m. with trophy presentations. The seniors (ninth through 12th grades) begin at 9 a.m. Saturday and trophies are expected to be presented at about 2 p.m.
Each flight takes about 50 minutes, with competitors shooting 15 arrows from 10 meters and 15 more from 15 meters, plus five warm-up shots from each distance. Archery targets have 10 rings, each designating a score with a bull’s-eye being 10 points. All archers use a Mathews Genesis bow with no sights and aluminum Easton arrows.
“We’ll have 125 shooting lanes going at a time, and we’ll take up the entire arena floor with that, but there’s more to the event than the competition,” Swaim said.
The top three teams in each age group will receive medals and team trophies, and the fourth and fifth-place teams will receive medals. The top individual boy and girl in each age group will receive a Mathews Genesis bow. Individuals, both boys and girls, placing in the top five positions of the senior division also will receive college scholarship money provided by the AGFC, starting with $2,500 for the top boys and girls finishers and incrementally decreasing $500 for each placing.
Archers and other attendees who arrive early or stay late can try their hand at 3D archery targets and a practice lane, visit one of the AGFC’s mobile aquariums or check out some activities at a special education/recruitment, retention and reactivation booth.
“We’ll also have door prizes including some from Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry and some from Walmart Neighborhood Market,” Swaim said. “Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry will be there too, collecting donations from each team during a canned food drive.”
Complete results of the tournament will be posted after all scores have been verified and awards will be announced at the end of each shooting day. Each team placing first, second or third will receive a trophy.
Visit www.agfc.com/ais for a link to state tournament scores and more information on Archery in the Schools.
Elementary Division Qualifiers
Alpena High School, Arkansas Arts Academy, Bergman School, Cave City School District, Charleston Elementary, Collegeville Elementary, Deer/Mt. Judea School District, Eagle Mountain Magnet, Glen Rose Elementary, Greene County Tech Elementary, Hill Farm Elementary, Hurricane Creek Elementary, Jasper School District, Lamar Elementary, Lead Hill School District, Leslie Intermediate School, Magnet Cove Elementary, Maynard High School, Omaha School District, Parkway Elementary, Perryville Elementary, Robert L Davis Elementary, Salem Elementary-Bryant, South Pike County School, Southside Elementary, Taylor Elementary, Valley Springs High School, Valley View Elementary, Waldron Elementary, Washington Middle School
Middle School Division Qualifiers
Alpena High School, Arkansas Arts Academy, Barton Jr. High School, Bergman School, Bethel Middle School, Bryant Middle School, Cabot Junior High North, Cave City School District, Charleston Middle School, Columbia Christian School, Des Arc Elementary, De Queen Cubs, Glen Rose Middle School, Greene County Tech Middle School, Jasper School District, Leah Hill School District, Magnet Cove Middle School, Marshall High School, Omaha School District, Ozark Junior High, Pangburn High School, Perryville Middle School, Pottsville Junior High, South Pike County School, Southside Middle School, Stuttgart Jr. High School, Taylor Middle School, Valley Springs High School, Valley View Jr. High, Washington Middle School
High School Division Qualifiers
Acorn High School, Alpena High School, Arkansas Arts Academy, Bentonville High School, Bergman School, Bryant High School, Cabot High School, Cave City School District, Charleston High School, De Queen High School, Glen Rose High School, Greene County Tech High School, Hillcrest High School, Jasper School District, Lead Hill School District, Lincoln High School, Marshall High School, Omaha School District, Ozark High School, Pangburn High School, Parkview High School, Pottsville High School, South Pike County School, Spa City Archery, Stuttgart High School, Sylvan Hills High School, Taylor High School, Valley Springs High School, Valley View Senior High, Vilonia High

Qualifying Individual Archers
Zachary Allen, Deer/Mt. Judea High School; Jaren Howell, Waldron High School; Carleigh McClung, Brookland High School; Jackson Nix, Homeschoolers On Target (middle school division); Millie Ramden, Star City Middle School, and Jasper Yarbrough, River Roots WILD School (middle school division)