Student Archers on Target for World Records
Louisville, Kentucky – -(AmmoLand.com)- They came with equipment invented in Africa 52,000 years ago. They arrived by auto, bus, and airplane in singles, pairs and excited packs until 4,565 student archers had gathered to obliterate the world record for the largest archery tournament in world history.
The 2009 National Archery in the Schools Program championship was about to begin. Between the 1st whistle to “shoot” at 9 am on May 8th and the last whistle to “go get arrows” at 3 pm on May 9th, these 4th-12th grade archers released 182,600 arrows into an 80 centimeter international target.
Laid end to end the arrows would reach from Louisville to just south of Indianapolis, Indiana. Some arrows landed more centered than others, but each young participant, will forever remember the day they made NASP history.
NASP is an in-school target archery program started in 21 Kentucky schools on March 3, 2002. NASP’s aim is to teach target archery skills to students in grades 4-12 as part of the inschool curriculum. Rapidly expanding NASP archery is currently presented in more than 5,000 schools in 46 states and five countries by nearly 16,000 teachers.
Archery is ranked safer than every ball sport taught in schools except table tennis. Every student at the tournament shot 10 practice and 30 scoring shots using identical equipment at the same target from 10 and 15 meters.
The highest possible individual score is 300 and the highest possible team score is 3,600. NASP archery is a co-gender discipline with every team required to contain boys and girls. At this tournament 38% of the participants were female.
In fact, Jessica Nystrom from Hartland High School in Hartland, Michigan, tied NASP legend, Graham Cofield’s world record with a score of 298. The first placing high school team with 3,435 points was perennial power, Henderson County High from Henderson, Kentucky. Separated by only 4 points, the 2nd and 3rd placing high schools were Trigg and Meade County High from Cadiz and Brandenburg, Kentucky. With 3,350 points Ashville Middle School from Ashville, Alabama won their division. A single point separated Henderson County (KY) and Stuart Pepper Middle School from Brandenburg for 2nd and 3rd positions.
The elementary team division finish order was Trigg County Intermediate, Meigs Intermediate in Middleport, OH and Westonka Elementary, from Minnetrista, Minnesota. Rumor has it the Minnesota archers took a day off from updating the state’s inventory of 10,000 lakes to attend the tournament!
There were ten first place boys and girls in the various divisions. Meredith Noland from Chickasha, Oklahoma and Blake Taylor from Lewisburg, Kentucky were tops among fourthgraders. Katie Rappuhn from Grand Bay, Alabama and Jeremy Elliott from Corbin, Kentucky took 1st among fifth graders. First place honors for sixth grade were earned by Kayla Dowell from Payneville Elementary (KY) and Kolt Perkins from Zaneis School in Wilson, Oklahoma.
The top middle school girl was Trigg County’s Patsy banister. Her counterpart in the middle school male category, 8th grader Taylor Knott, was the top overall male shooter for the entire tournament with a 297 from Stuart Pepper Middle School in Brandenburg, Kentucky.
First place prizes for high school female champion were awarded to the new world record holder, Jessica Nystrom from Hartland High in Hartland, Michigan. Jessica’s arrow just missed the target’s center twice all day. She was accompanied on the podium by the high school champion male, Adrian Sprankle from Maysville High in Zanesville, Ohio. With most of the event’s 5,000 spectators watching, the top four scoring male and top four scoring female archers participated in a Scholarship Shoot-Off. Thanks to a large number of donors, NASP was again able to award a total of $14,000 in college scholarships to these eight shoot-off contestants.
The top scholarships of $2,500 went to Zanesville, Ohio’s Adrian Sprankle for the boys and lady archer Brandi Waters of Brandenburg, Kentucky. The final and possibly most anticipated awards of the tournament were presented last. Winning the Spirit Award for enthusiasm and sportsmanship were Meigs HS from Pomeroy, OH and Hartland Elementary and Middle Schools from Hartland, Michigan.
To be conducted in a timely, safe, and efficient manner, this tournament was served by an army of volunteers. More than 150 volunteers came from the ranks of Centershot Ministries, KY Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, United Bowhunters of KY, Mathews Archery Professionals, KY Traditional Bowhunters Association, Northern KY Bowhunters Association, and visiting state NASP Coordinators. The 2009 NASP Nationals were joined by archers from 35 states from Alaska to New Jersey.
For the first time in NASP’s history, Canada’s anthem was presented, as archery teams from Saskatchewan joined the fray this year. The team from Melfort, Saskatchewan raised $30,000 in three weeks to make the trip to Louisville. NASP is a non-profit foundation able to operate only by support from a variety of generous donors. Many of these donors were present at the nationals including medal-level sponsors; Mathews Archery, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Morrell Targets, The Block, and Rinehart Targets. The National Field Archery Association’s MJ Rogers was again on hand to loan and help set up the NFAA’s huge portable indoor archery range. A complete list of tournament award winners in every division and a list of scholarship sponsors can be found at: www.archeryintheschools.org
The 2010 NASP Nationals will be held again at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky on Friday, May 7th and 8th. All students who qualified to attend the 2009 Nationals are invited to attend the 1st annual NASP World Tournament in Orlando, Florida on October 7-1lth, this year!
The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) is a joint venture between state departments of Education and Wildlife. Several archery equipment manufacturers and organizations are also partners (listed below). The program promotes student education, physical education and participation in the life long sport of Archery. The program’s focus is to provide International Style Target Archery training in physical education classes grades 4 – 12