Last month, the Marlinton Elementary School archery team competed against dozens of teams in Charleston and brought home a state championship title. On May 8-10, the team traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, to compete in the National Archery Championship.
Thirty-seven state champion teams and 77 other qualifying elementary school teams competed at the event. The National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Championship set a world record as the largest archery tournament ever.
Jody and Rebecca Spencer, of Hillsboro, are volunteer coaches on the team. Jody Spencer emailed information about the historic competition.
“Not many fourth and fifth graders can say they are part of a world record,” Spencer wrote. “Each kid drove down with their parents – about six or seven cars caravanned down together – kids would take turns riding with each other, swapping out at rest areas.
“We all stayed in the Mariott in downtown Louisville, about five miles from the Expo Center where the tournament was held. Kids played in the pool each evening and were able to hang out together.”
Spencer reported that the event was well-organized and featured several side attractions.
“The event took place Thursday evening, all day Friday and all day Saturday, shooting 500 archers at a time, every hour (the length of a full round). The large Expo Center had a carnival feel to it. Many archery related vendors were set up displaying and selling their products. Kids could bungee jump or play in one of several fun houses.
“We also spent a lot of time at the shooting ranges. You could shoot skeet with your bow, stand on top a real bass boat and shoot at fish targets to represent bow fishing or one of several other archery ranges.
The kids really enjoyed shooting in an optional 3-D style tournament on Saturday evening. They shot life sized foam targets representing deer, turkey, rams, bears and antelopes.”
Families took advantage of other amenities in Louisville.
“Some families chose to go to nearby attractions while we were there,” Spencer wrote. “Some saw a minor league baseball game, went to the zoo, Hard Rock Cafe, toured an underground cavern and visited the Louisville Slugger museum. Most of the team walked to a nearby group of eateries each evening and enjoyed each others company as they shopped and dined and took pictures.”
The West Virginia state champions outdid themselves again at nationals.
“Our team score was not high enough to place, but many of our kids broke personal records and we did best our winning state score by almost 100 points,” Spencer wrote.
National Archery Tournament Results
Max Ervine 281 ( the top elementary school boy in the WestVirginia state tournament shot a 268 last month); Maria Workman 256; Jesse Bostic 253; Silas Riley 250; T.D. Sparks 248; Seth Day 242; Conner Spencer 237; Dakota Dunbrack 237; Hadden Mick 232; Haley Spencer 230; Ryan Robertson 220; Macaden Taylor 217; Rayna Smith 209; Tessa Kiner 209; Hazel Riley 208; Frankie Burgess 197.
Ervine’s 281 was 22nd out of 1,573 elementary boys. Workman’s 256 was 219th out of 1,219 girls.
Congratulations to our state champion elementary school archery team on another fine performance. All of Pocahontas County and West Virginia is proud of you.