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Hill Farm Elementary three-peats as Arkansas archery state champs

HOT SPRINGS — Hill Farm Elementary of Bryant took top honors at the Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program State Championship last weekend at Bank OZK Arena in Hot Springs. This is the third time in as many years that the Hoot Owls of Hill Farm accomplished the feat. The team turned in an impressive score of 3,086 out of a possible 3,600 to claim the win over second-place Charleston Elementary. Greene County Tech took third place in the elementary division.

Five hundred, forty-one high school students and 1,197 middle school and elementary school students participated at this year’s ANASP State Championship, March 1-2. These teams and individuals earned their berth to the meet through 12 regional qualifiers held throughout the state at the beginning of February.

“That’s only a fraction of the schools who participate in ANASP,” said Curtis Gray, ANASP coordinator for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. “We have about 550 schools teaching archery in part of their curriculum now; that’s about half the schools in the state.”

Acorn High School placed first among the high school competitors, posting 3,328 points in its bid to become the ANASP High School State Champions. Cabot High School (3,317 points) and Bergman High School (3,316) were close on Acorn’s heels. In the Junior High division, Barton Archery sealed the deal with 3,294. For the second year in a row, Alpena Jr. High had to settle for second place, as they shot a powerful 3,286, but just couldn’t catch the Wildkittens from Barton. The Batesville Junior High Pioneers rounded out the top three in the Junior High division with a score of 3,263.

Boys and girls shooting in the state championship also were recognized for individual scores in each division.

Kaleb Tremel of Pottsville High School successfully defended his 2018 boys high school division state championship title with another win this year, this time placing only five arrows of 30 outside the bull’s eye, and those only missing their mark by a fraction of an inch. Kaleb’s score of 295 was enough to squeak by Brody Webb of Acorn High School, who shot a 291, and Jackson Burkeen of Valley Springs High School, who scored 290.

In the girls high school division, Andi Benbrook of Parkview High School fell only one arrow short of matching the men’s champion, putting 24 arrows in the bull’s eye, five in the nine-ring and one in the seven-ring. Her score of 292 was the second highest in the entire competition and enough to take home the girls state championship title. It was not an easy victory, however, as Emilee Evers of Bergman High School scored an impressive 291, falling just a single point short of capturing the crown. Harley Rollins of Cabot High School came in third overall with an astounding 287.

A pair of Des Arc archers took the top spot in the individual junior high division scores. Adysen Johnston of Des Arc was the state champion in the Junior High girls division, and Cache Flanagan of Des Arc placed atop the boys junior high division. Maelee Fultz of Alpena Jr. High (285) and Brylee Bradford of Bethel Middle School (284) were second and third on the ladies’ side of the contest. Jackson McCormick of Batesville Junior High shot 288 to come in second and Landon Jackson of Greene County Tech Middle School scored 286 to finish third in that division.

The girls’ individual elementary school winners were Briley Wooldridge of Old High Middle School (271), BreAnna Strutz of Crystal Hill Elementary (269) and Savannah Bergren of Hill Farm Elementary (266). The boys’ individual elementary school winners were Jasper Jones of Emerson Elementary (280), Kolby Duncan of Hill Farm Elementary (276) and Landon Farris of CCES (273).

The Arkansas National Archery in the Schools Program – part of the National Archery in the Schools Program – teaches archery skills as well as an outdoor hobby that young people can enjoy for the rest of their lives. It has also proven to be a great way to sharpen skills, build self-esteem and create a stronger atmosphere for success in the classroom.

ANASP is funded through several sources, including Act 799 of the 2003 Arkansas General Assembly, which sends wildlife violation fine money collected to all 75 counties for conservation education. The program also receives money from Amendment 75, which created a ⅛-cent Conservation Sales Fund to help the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Parks and Tourism, The Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and Keep Arkansas Beautiful.

Visit www.agfc.com/anasp and click “Registration and Tournament Scores” at the bottom of the page for a complete list of scores by team or individual.