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Wasatch Archers Claim State Title

In their first season participating in the new archery club competition, Wasatch's young archers claimed the state championship, the first for any Wasatch team this year.

"We are very proud of the kids," said Matthew Zierenberg, one of the coaches for the team. "They have come in at 6:00 a.m. and have worked hard to improve their skills." Wasatch started the program this year with 5 students and 2 teachers being trained in the NASP program. By having student instructors involved, they were able to turn an individual sport into a real team effort.

Drew Spencer scored 256 and Brian MacKay scored 255 to take the top two spots in the High School Male Division. Whitney Kraatz scored 234 to take first in the High School Female Division, and Kasadee Godfrey scored 225 to take third.

This year, 15 schools participated in the archery competition. "This was WHS's first year competing in the State Tournament and we had 28 archers involved. We claimed three of the four top spots," said Coach Zierenberg. "We feel pretty good about that and are looking forward to defending our state title next year."

Hayden Walker was the WHS Archery Club president and most often the top archer, but he injured his shoulder (AC separation) the week before the tournament in an attempt to prevent a sledding accident. He did prevent others from being injured but in the process injured himself. Even with his injury, he was a great asset to the team at this year's tournament and as a student instructor and leader throughout the year.

Scoring in an archery competition is straight forward. Each archer has 10 arrows and each arrow can score a maximum of 10 points. A perfect score would be 300 points. Wasatch's top 10 archers averaged 232 points per shooter while the closest team to them had a 194 point average. Team scores count the top 12 archers on each squad.

Archery began at Wasatch High School this year because of a $3000 grant of equipment from the DNR to promote the sport. In addition, IBOHUNT archery shop has donated expertise to maintain the bows and arrows. Teachers and community members have donated time and expertise to help the club succeed.

"One of the great things about this program," said Lawrene Tilson, another of Wasatch's archery coaches, "is that all the kids in the nation use exactly the same equipment. As our students improve and move on to larger tournaments, they will be skilled in the same type of equipment that everyone else is using. This is a great program to train our young archers."

Plans are in place to extend the reach of the Archery Club into the younger grades at Rocky Mountain Middle school as well as Timpanogas Intermediate School.

BY JOHN MOSS   02/15/2012

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