By STEVE CORNELIUS, CJ Sports Editor
In this year’s National Archery in Schools Program Kentucky State Championships nearly 4,200 archers competed, which was the largest state tournament in the history of the NASP program.
And after a grand total of 42,000 arrows were aimed and shot towards the circular targets, a small elementary school from eastern Pulaski County reigned supreme.
Shopville Elementary won the state title in the boys and girls elementary division with a winning score of 3,203, which was well ahead of runner-up Kentucky Christian Academy’s 3,171.
Shopville placed four archers in the state’s top 15 to claim the gold trophy. Third-grader Autumn Bradley led the way for the Tigers with a second place finish in the elementary girls division. Bradley’s score of 278 ranked her as the top third-grade girls archer in the state.
Hunter Carlton shot a 279 to place 10th among the elementary boys, and he ranked ninth in his fifth-grade class.
MaKayla Wilson shot a 272 to place 10th amongst elementary girls and she ranked sixth in her fifth-grade class.
Emily Chaney shot a 271 to place 14th in the elementary girls division, and she ranked 10th in her fifth-grade class.
Shopville should be a state title threat for a few more years, as the small school placed four third-graders in the top 7 of their class. Skyler Cummins ranked as the third best boys third-grader, Aislyn Cain placed second among female third graders, and Sydney Creech placed seventh among third-grade boys.
Kelsie Cobb ranked as the fourth best female fourth grader.
“These students, coaches, and parents have worked really hard to accomplish this goal,” Shopville Elementary principal Billy Norris commented.
Eubank Elementary fifth-grader Juley Benge shot a 276 to place third in the girls elementary division, and she placed first amongst fifth-grade girls. Eubank fifth-grader Shelbie Black placed 17th in the elementary division and placed 13th in her class.
Pulaski Elementary fifth-grader KJ Combs fired a 283 to place third in the boys elementary division. Pulaski fifth-grader Haggan Bishop placed 17th.
Southern Middle eighth-grader Hadley Henderson shot a 286 to place 5th in the boys middle school division. Southern eighth-grader Austin Dalton placed 25th. Southern eighth-grader Cheyenne Pruter placed 20th.
Somerset eighth-grader Calder Lawless shot a 285 to place 14th in the middle school division and was third in his class.
Pulaski eighth-grader Natasha Burton shot a 284 to place 9th overall and 7th in her class.
Northern seventh-grader Lucas Smith shot a 286 to place 13th in the middle school division and placed eighth in his class. Northern seventh-grader Morgan Belcher placed 24th in middle school and sixth in his class.
Northern fifth-grader Noah Stevens placed 24th in the elementary division and placed 21st in his class. Northern fourth-grader Owen Alexander placed sixth in his class.
Burnside fifth-grader Keaton Smith placed 19th overall and 17th in his class.
In the elementary team standings, Pulaski placed 11th and Eubank placed 13th. In the middle school team standings, Southern placed 8th and Northern placed 12th.
In the high school division, Southwestern senior Brandon Keeney shot a 286 to place 34th overall and seventh in his class. Southwestern junior Sarah Purtee placed 19th overall and 5th in her class.
Pulaski sophomore Halee Lanigan shot a 285 to place 20th overall and 8th in her class.
Southwestern placed 10th and Pulaski placed 14th in the high school standings.