GREENSBURG – The elementary and middle school archers from South Decatur schools (SD) and the middle and high school archers from Greensburg schools (GB) competed at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) National Tournament May 9 and 10 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Students boarded the charter buses in high spirits, full of hope and confidence that only a year’s worth of practice and hard work can bring. Both teams train with the same bows, arrows and targets they use in tournaments, leaving them to focus on their aim and technique as they shot to qualify for the world competition.
South Decatur has roughly 90 archers in the elementary archery club and Coach Clint Pride said a qualifier was held to determine which 24 archers would compete at nationals. The top 24 shooters were assembled and sent off to nationals full of excitement. Pride coaches the elementary archers with Thom Conover.
The elementary Cougar archers earned a total score of 3,013, their best score to date and qualified for the world tournament. Cody Diekhoff, who was honored as the fifth-place scorer among all Indiana fifth-grade boys earlier in the week, was the top shooter with a score of 284. Ben Stier followed with a score of 278 and Jaden Crawford rounded out the top three with a score of 270. Lennon Burton was the top scoring girl with a score of 263.
Julie Blaich and Kevin Doyle coach the middle school team. Both teams had to qualify for nationals at the state tournament. According to Blaich, the coaches and parents decided the team needed a goal to strive for, so they aimed for a score of 3,255. A score of 2,999 was required to qualify for world.
The SD middle school archers shot a 3,259, beating their goal and more than qualifying for the next tournament. Karah Biddinger was the highest scorer with a 281, followed by Zach Ferris with 280 and Kenny Meadows with 278.