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Young Alaskan archers compete in virtual tournament with eyes on national contest

Posted: April 19, 2013 - 12:01am

Judging by their scores in the National Archery in the Schools Program’s Alaska tournament, students who attend schools on Prince of Wales Island may be some of the straightest shooters in the state.

With instruction and support from the Division of Wildlife Conservation’s Hunter Information and Training Program, young archers from Greely to Gustavus met at their local school gymnasiums to compete against other schools around the state in the virtual tournament. Scores were sent to NASP where all were unveiledearly this month.

This year’s scholastic tournament drew 591 boys and girls ranging from fourth to twelfth grades, and included contenders from public- and home-school programs. Prizes were awarded, and many qualified to attend the NASP national tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, in May, according to Program Coordinator Kirk Lingofelt.

“We have archers attending nationals from Cooper Landing, Delta, Juneau, Anchorage, Valdez, Bethel and Prince of Wales,” Lingofelt said.

Topped only by Bethel’s Gladys Jung Elementary School in the elementary schools category, and followed closely in the middle- and high schools categories by students in Delta, the young archers of PWI’s South East Island School District nearly swept the state with first-place rankings for middle- and high schools. Meanwhile, both of Alaska’s overall high-scoring student archers came from Delta/Greely Schools; Brandon Schmidt and Angela Hannan each turned in scores of 296 points out of a possible 300 total.

NASP is a nationwide youth archery program developed in Kentucky in 2002. Alaska’s program is a joint venture between NASP, the Department of Education, and the Division of Wildlife Conservation. Program partners also include several archery equipment manufacturers and local sportsman’s organizations. The program promotes self-confidence, teamwork, discipline, and physical fitness. To date, more than 2 million kids across America have participated in the program.

About 10 percent of Alaska schools include NASP in their physical education curriculum. To learn more about NASP in Alaska visit: www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=educators.naspcurricula or contact Kirk Lingofelt at 907-267-2534.

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