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Sarcoxie student archers crowned national champions for 2017

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Members of the National (and Missouri state) champions gathered for a team photo with their state championship trophy.

With a team score that set a new record, the archery team at tiny Sarcoxie High School in the Ozarks is the new national champion of National Archery in the Schools (NASP) National Tournament. More than 14,490 student archers in grades 4-12 from 670 schools competed, including 857 Missouri students from 45 schools.

Sarcoxie scored 3,465 out of 3,600 possible points to become the smallest school to have ever won the national championship. The National Archery in the Schools (NASP) National Tournament and NASP International Bowhunting Organization (IBO) 3D Challenge were May 11-13 in Louisville, Ky. The Sarcoxie teams also won the state championship for both high school and middle school in Missouri.

The combined student population in Sarcoxie School/Middle School is just over 417 students. The population of Sarcoxie was 1,330 residents in the 2010 census.

Members of the Sarcoxie Middle School Archery Team dominated in the team division and took top honors claiming the national championship in the middle school team division at the NASP IBO 3D Challenge.

In addition to Sarcoxie, two other Ozarks schools placed in the top 10, and a total of six teams from Missouri placed in the top 10. Carl Junction High School (7th) and Carthage High School (9th).

“Sarcoxie didn’t get involved in NASP until five years ago, and to go from just starting to national champions in that short amount of time is simply amazing, said Eric Edwards, MoNASP Coordinator for the Missouri Department of Conservation. “The job that school, coaches, and archers have done is indescribable.”

Statewide, Missouri dominated the high school team division with five out of the top ten teams in that division. Sarcoxie High School took first, Hillsboro High School took sixth, Carl Junction High School took seventh, Lee’s Summit West High School took eighth, and Carthage High School took ninth out of 248 high school teams.

“To have five schools in the top 10 is something that hasn’t been done in a while,” Edwards said. “I think the only other state to do that is Kentucky, which is where NASP originally stared.”

Edwards noted that George Guffey Elementary also did well during the national competition and took fifth place in the elementary team division.

“I am so proud of all the teams that travel and compete in the national tournament. It takes a lot of dedication not only from the archers, but the coaches, parents, and school as well,” Edwards said.

Junior Anna Reinkemeyer from Helias High School in Jefferson City took third place individual honors in the high school female division, missing a perfect score by only four points. Reinkemeyer shot an impressive score of 296 out of 300. Freshman Trenton Meyer from Carthage High School also shot 296 out of 300 and took fifth place in the high school male division. Junior Frankie Goforth from Carl Junction High School and freshman Kamyrn Twehus from Blair Oaks High School tied for sixth place in the high school female division. They both shot a score of 294 out of 300.

Seventh grader Irvin Johnson from Salem Middle School shot a score of 294 out of 300 to take fifth place in the middle school boys division. Eighth grader Jeremiah Jones from Carl Junction Middle School shot a score of 293 out 300 to take eighth place in the middle school boys division.

“I am pleased and pleasantly surprised to see all the final scores,” Edwards said. “I think we have built a competitive program here in Missouri that the other states are going to have to watch out for when we compete on a national level.”

For a full listing of scores from the NASP National Tournament, go to http://bit.ly/2rjDK79.

Sarcoxie Middle School showed its dominance in the team division and took top honors claiming the national championship in the middle school team division at the NASP IBO 3D Challenge. Sarcoxie High School also took sixth place in the high school team division. Carl Junction High School took third place in the high school team division.

More than 4,100 student archers competed in the NASP IBO 3D Challenge, and many Missouri archers were among the top of their division. Senior Brooke Hinkle from Sarcoxie High School took fifth place in the high school girls division with a score of 290 or 300. Senior Cole Sandbothe from Blair Oaks High School took seventh place in the high school boys division with a score of 295 out of 300.

Three Sarcoxie Middle Schoolers placed in the top ten in their divisions. Seventh grader Max Wangler took fifth place with a score of 289 out of 300 and eighth grader Dylan Heckmaster from took eighth place in the middle school boys division with a score of 287 out of 300. Seventh grader Ally Nordell took eighth place in the middle school girls division with a score of 284 out 300. Also fifth grader Sophie Pfahl from St. Joseph Catholic School Westphalia took sixth place in the elementary girls division with a score of 277 out of 300. Final scores from the NASP IBO 3D Challenge are available at http://bit.ly/2ql4xBu.

NASP promotes education, self-esteem, and physical activity for students in grades 4-12 through participation in the sport of archery. Since NASP’s beginnings in 2002, more than ten million students have participated in the program through 10,000 schools in 47 states and 10 countries.

Missouri student archers participated through the Missouri National Archery in the Schools Program (MoNASP), which is coordinated through the Missouri Department of Conservation in partnership with numerous schools and supporting organizations throughout the state. MoNASP is an affiliate of NASP and also promotes education, self-esteem, and physical activity for students in grades 4-12 through participation in the sport of archery. More than 185,000 Missouri students from 600 schools participate in MoNASP. To learn more, visit the MDC website at http://on.mo.gov/2mCPWg4.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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