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Young archers on target at Star Center

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Young archers shot 18,930 arrows last Saturday at Santa Ana Star Center, where teams from across New Mexico gathered for the third annual National Archery in the Schools state tournament.

“This was our biggest turnout ever — 631 kids,” said Brian Guzman, program coordinator for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. “There was a lot of good competition and a whole lot of fun.”

Aztec High School’s Clint Valerio was the top archer of the day, scoring 290 out of a possible 300 in the High School Division. Twenty-one of his 30 shots were bull’s-eyes. His teammate, Douglas Hood, scored 280, helping Aztec beat defending champion Albuquerque Institute of Math and Technology by 167 points. Dalton Hamilton of Mescalero (277) took third place to help his team win third place.

Twenty middle schools, eight elementary schools and nine high schools registered for the tournament. Archers shot 15 arrows each from distances of 10 and 15 meters. The winners advance to the national tournament in Louisville.

Paloma Villalobos of Mesa View Middle School in Farmington scored 279 to take individual honors in her division. Teammate Allen Bradshaw (277) was second and Cody Smith (273) of Koogler Middle School in Aztec was third at 273. Koogler took the team title with 3,069, followed by Mesa View with 2,985 and Albuquerque Institute for Math and Science with 2,950.

In the Elementary School Division, Juan Carrillo of Albuquerque’s Pajarito Elementary took the individual prize with a score of 256. His teammate, Nadia Gonzales, hit nine bull’s-eyes to edge out Carlos Reyes of Las Cruces Sun Rise Elementary for second place. Both archers scored 250, and Reyes had three bull’s-eyes. In the team competition, Seven Bar Elementary of Albuquerque won its third straight title by outscoring Pajarito Elementary 2,607 to 2,575. Sun Rise Elementary took third place with a score of 2,519.

The top three archers in each division won Genesis compound bows; the top three teams won trophies. Complete lists of individual and team scores can be found on the Game and Fish website (wildlife.state.nm.us)

Approximately 100 schools and home-school students across New Mexico participate in the National Archery in the Schools Program. Schools receive free training for instructors, and the Department provides 50 percent of the funding for each school to purchase archery equipment.

For more information, contact Guzman at (505) 231-4375 or brian.guzman@state.nm.us.

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