Elementary school archery program right on target

David Sisson, left, and Jaden Durling zero in during last Saturday
David Sisson, left, and Jaden Durling zero in during last Saturday's archery competition.
— image credit: Jim Waller / Whidbey News-Times

Look out William Tell, here come Brandon Barns and Valerie Quiambao.

Barns and Quiambao are two of many Oak Harbor elementary students involved in the archery program at their respective schools.

Crescent Harbor, Broad View, Oak Harbor and Olympic View elementary schools offer an archery unit through their physical education classes, and Crescent Harbor and Broad View provide after-school archery clubs that compete in tournaments.

The clubs head to Central Washington University in Ellensburg for the Washing-ton National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) championships at 8:40 a.m. Saturday, March 16.

The sharp-shooting Quiambao, from Crescent Harbor, placed second in the fifth-grade girls division at state last year, while schoolmate Issis Foster-Suyat finished third among fourth-grade girls.

For Broad View, Patricia Miessner was fourth among fourth-grade girls and Hannah Barns ninth in fifth-grade girls.

The top five in each division qualify for the national tournament. This year’s national meet is in Louisville.

P.E. specials Justin Ronning (Crescent Harbor) and Jeff Pryor (Broad View) attended a conference session on the NASP program several years ago, and that sparked the idea to include archery in their P.E. curriculums.

From there came the clubs; this is Broad View’s third year and Crescent Harbor’s second.

Funding for the unit initially came from the Washington State Archery Association through a grant to Pryor from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. That covered the initial equipment and instruction for teachers Ronning, Pryor, Holly Troyer and Chad Boyer.

Ronning later received a grant from the same source, and some Physical Education Program grant monies were also used.

The Crescent Harbor club consists of 24 students; 22 attend at Broad View. Both clubs practice for one hour one day a week. The clubs are for fourth and fifth graders, with a few older members who participated last year sprinkled in.

At the competitions, each shooter, using standardized bows and arrows, shoots 15 arrows from both 10 and 15 meters at a bulls-eye target. Ten points are awarded for a center hit, descending out to one point for a rim shot.

A perfect score is 300.

Broad View competed in three matches so far this year, and Brandon Barns has compiled the state’s best score in his division.

In Mount Vernon in January, Barns tallied a first-place 227. Jaden Darling of Crescent Harbor finished second (220) and Quiambao third (218).

Broad View and Crescent Harbor went head-to-head at North Whidbey Middle School on Saturday.

The top five scores for Crescent Harbor were Quiambao, 257; Jaden Durling, 245; Suyat, 218; Aiden McCarthey, 205; and Aspen Kemper, 191.

Brandon Barnes led Broadview with a 261, followed by Lincoln Bassett, 241;  Hannah Barns, 237; Miessner, 216; and Shane Voyt, 192.

“This has been a great program. Almost every student gets excited when we get our turn with this unit,” Pryor said.

“The goal is to offer the students a chance to gain exposure and to participate in a lifetime activity that maybe they will want to enjoy as they get older,” said Ronning.

“It is great to see how much their scores improve over the course of the season. Many students in November were shooting in the 30s and 40s and are now shooting in the low 200s.”

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