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Alabama archers make strong showing at national championship

From The Trussville Tribune staff reports

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Mia Cornelson, a fifth grader from Dixon Elementary in Irvington, was named top female archer in the elementary school division at this year’s National Archery in the Schools (NASP) Eastern National Tournament held in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 11-12. She shot a score of 294 out of a possible 300 and was awarded a $2,000 college scholarship. Cornelson’s performance at the event earned her a spot on the Academic Archer All-American Archery Team.

Mia’s coach, Faye Hussong, couldn’t be happier for her student.

“As a coach, this is what you dream of for your archers,” Hussong said. “I am so very proud of all her hard work and continuous dedication to improving her skills. I haven’t stopped smiling since she shot the 294 at nationals.”

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Almost 15,000 student archers from across the country traveled to the competition. This year’s attendance (14,946) broke the Guinness World Record for largest archery tournament in the world set by the same event in 2012.

Other winners in the national bullseye competition include the Alma Bryant High School team, which brought home honors by placing third in the high school division. The win earned each team member a $500 college scholarship for a total of $12,000. Alabama also saw several teams and individual archers place in the top 20 of their respective divisions.

In addition to the bullseye competition, student archers from Alabama placed in the IBO/3D Challenge, which took place during the Eastern National Tournament. Vinemont Elementary placed 5th and Cullman Middle School placed 4th in their respective divisions, and Tucker Robinson from Vinemont Elementary finished 4th and Evan Dockery from Cullman Middle School finished 7th in their respective divisions.

The pursuit of academic excellence was a theme at the tournament as evidenced by the record number of Academic Archers who participated. The NASP Academic Archer program recognizes students who maintain high academic achievement while enjoying the sport of archery. Currently, more than 31,000 students are registered to the program nationwide. Alabama’s participation in the program has increased from 1,031 archers in 2018, to 1,671 in 2019, ranking the state at fourth in the nation.

Several Academic Archers from Alabama who participated in the tournament were chosen to join Cornelson on the All-American Archery Team. Those archers include Price Pearson and Niko Menzel from Buckhorn Middle School, Matthew Alexander from Phillips Preparatory Academy, Caleb Thornton from Alma Bryant High School and Justin Liveoak from Chilton County High School.

Scoring for the tournament is based on Olympic-style, target archery in three divisions – elementary, middle and high school – and includes team and individual levels. NASP archery is a co-gender sport with every team required to contain boys and girls.

The NASP was founded in Kentucky in 2002 and has since spread around the country. In Alabama, the NASP is a joint venture between the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division and the Alabama Department of Education.

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