HARRIS - The local area will be well-represented in the National Archery in the Schools Tournament that takes place in Louisville, Ky. next month.
Seven members of the Bark River-Harris archery program have qualified for the national tournament May 8-9 along with Escanaba freshman Mariah Kestila, who repeated as the female state champion for the third straight time. To earn a berth in the national tournament, the archers had to finish in the top five of their age division in the third annual Michigan Virtual Archery Tournament. The tournament pits archers from elementary through high school who are part of the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) throughout the state.
BR-H junior Matthew Allen was the top male finisher in the state and had the highest overall score among the 500-plus competitors, garnering 290 points out of a possible 300. The previous two years, Allen had finished as runner-up in the high school male division. Allen goes into the national tournament as the seventh-ranked archer in the country.
Mike Dunn | Daily Press
These members of the Bark River-Harris National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) have qualified to compete in the national tournament next month in Kentucky. Front row, from left, Marissa LaPorte, Morgan Schram and Steve Schram; back row: “Team Grandma” Lois Groeneveld, state champion Matthew Allen, Mark Bergstrom and coach Randy Allen. Not pictured: Devon Allen and Heather Moksyzcki.
Kestila earned a score of 280 to edge Sarah Topp of Gaylord St. Mary by three points and repeat as the top female archer in the state.
[A story featuring male and female state champions Allen and Kestila is scheduled to appear in the Lifestyles section of the paper sometime in the coming week.]
Another BR-H archer who fared well was Steve Schram, who captured first place in the Middle School Male division with his score of 282. His nearest rival, Chad Cooper of Hartland, had a score of 278. Fellow BR-H archer Devon Allen came in third in the division with a score of 277.
Other BR-H archers to qualify for nationals aside from Matthew Allen, Schram and Devon Allen are:
l Marisa LaPorte, Elementary Female, second place with a score of 260;
l Morgan Schram, Elementary Female, fifth place (235);
l Heather Moksyzcki, High School Female, fifth place (264);
l Mark Bergstrom, High School Male, third place (282).
"The kids have put in the practice time and they've had a lot of fun doing this," said BR-H coach Randy Allen. "This is the third year for the program and we've grown from 14 to 32 registered archers. The kids really enjoy being part of it."
There will be nearly 4,000 archers from 48 states taking part in the national tournament.