Local archery team wins 1st place at state, one advances to nationals
The Stark-Billings County team placed 1st at the North Dakota State 4-H Archery Championships this year, but only one of them will go to nationals.
"The whole time, we thought we were going to go," said team member Lane Ewald. "We shoot against the same kids, and we beat all the kids indoors, so we knew we could beat them outdoors; it would be no big deal and we’d get to go. We just had to get one of us to take first. We showed up Saturday morning, and then they said ‘There’s not going to be enough teams, so you have to place individually.’ It kind of bummed out our whole team, but we shot anyway the best we could to try and place."
Individually, Lane Ewald placed 6th. His brother, Maddox, placed 5th. Teammate Taik Larsen took 8th. The only archer on their team to place high enough to go to nationals was Tyler Brusseau, who placed 2nd.
"In usual years, the top team goes to nationals, but because they didn’t have enough teams this year, they took the top four shooters. I’m not going to nationals, but we did win the top state team," Lane Ewald said.
To determine how they placed, the individuals' cumulative scores from the three events were added. Those in the top four, including Brusseau, will compete in the 2020 4-H National Shooting Sports Championships in Grand Island, Nebraska.
In addition to Brusseau, those going to nationals include 1st place Brady Sand from Steele-Traill County, Layne Larson from Morton County and Laryn Dees from Williams County.
Anyone can participate in the outdoor shoot that qualifies them for nationals.
"There's a kid that's going to nationals that I've never seen before, never shot against," Lane Ewald said.
As part of their 4-H archery program, their team competes in a series of indoor shoots throughout the year, beginning in January.
"You have to shoot two of them, and you have to have certain scores to be able to go to indoors state. Then … in April, we shoot in indoors state, and they take your two best shoots, the top two best shoots over the year plus your score at state and they add it up," Lane Ewald said.
Although the indoor shoots do not qualify you for the outdoor shoot, it does give them practice. Lane Ewald took second place in individual shooting at the state indoor tournament, and his team won first place - by just a few points.
"When we finished that day, they announced Morton County the winner, and took pictures with them and all that, and we went home," he said. "That day, my teammate had added up all the scores and went to the coach director (and said) ‘I don’t think that’s right. I think we won. I think we had more points.’ She said, ‘We’ll look into it.’ Over the next few days, they looked into it, and they discovered we actually won by 12 points."