POMEROY — Three Meigs Local archery students competiting in the 2013 Ohio National Archery in the Schools (NASP) state tournament held March 1 in Columbus, placed in their respective categories of competition, according to results released by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The competition was held at the Franklin County Veterans Memorial in conjunction with the Arnold Sports Festival, the annual fitness event developed by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The ODNR Division of Wildlife coordinates the Ohio NASP tournament.
In the team competition, Meigs Elementary placed fourth in the Elementary School Division (grades 4-6) with a score of 2,960 points. In the Middle School Division (grades 7-8) the Meigs team placed fourth with a score of 3,153. In the individual contest, Marjorie Chapman of Meigs Elementary placed fifth in the fourth grade female contest, Taylor Bass of Meigs Elementary placed fourth in the fifth grade female category, and Wyatt Nicholson of the Meigs Middle School came in third in the sixth grade shooters.
All three teams of 24 each from Meigs Local Elementary, Middle School and High School, participating in the state tournament, qualified to compete at the national tournament in Louisville, Ky. which will take place May 10-11. In addition to the teams nine Meigs students took part in the tournament as individual participants.
Coach Dan Thomas was complimentary of the participating students and their performance. He said some rule changes this year as to the composition of teams were somewhat of a detriment to scoring. He also mentioned that missing from the event was Meigs Middle School archery coach, B. J. Nicholson, who remains ill and is currently hospitalized in Columbus.
“NASP is currently taught in 620 Ohio schools, and this curriculum emphasizes archery safety in addition to improving the concentration, self-esteem and confidence of the students who participate,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer.
Taking the top award for teams in the tournament was Maysville High School (Zanesville) with a score of 3,397 points, according to ODNR.
The top male and female archers were determined by a shoot-off between the top three boys and top three girls from each division — elementary, middle school and high school. At the conclusion of the shoot-off, Clay Williams, a freshman at Philo High School, and Katie Ruffner, a sophomore at Logan High School, were announced as the overall male and female champions.
Hocking College in Nelsonville offers scholarships to the first, second and third place individual finishers by final score. Waynedale High School received this year’s spirit award for demonstrating enthusiasm and sportsmanship during the competition.
A total of 1,446 archers from 78 teams competed in the 2013 tournament, which is an increase from 1,319 archers last year. Each competitor could score a maximum of 300 points by shooting arrows as close to the center of a target as possible.
Awards were given for teams and individuals with high scores in the elementary, middle school and high school divisions. Thirty-four Ohio teams received qualifying scores, making them eligible to participate in the NASP National Invitational Tournament in Louisville.
The ODNR Division of Wildlife introduced NASP in 2004 with 12 pilot schools. Statewide expansion of the program began in January 2005, and 2005-2006 was the program’s first full academic year. Growth in NASP has continued across the state, and more than half of Ohio’s 88 counties currently have at least one school participating in NASP. Last year, more than 1,300 students participated in the 2012 Ohio NASP State Tournament, it was reported. .
NASP is used to teach target archery in a school’s gym. The curriculum covers archery, safety, equipment, technique, concentration skills and self-improvement and is geared to create a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all, said an ODNR representative.