Middle schoolers claim World National Archery championship

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Peyton wins individual title, Yount places fourth in Orlando, Fla.

By John Herndon

You could say the Anderson County Middle School archery team was right on target over the weekend.

The Mustangs captured the World National Archery in the Schools program championship, held Saturday at the Disney World of Sports in Orlando, Fla.

The team scored 3,321 points to outdistance second place Ashville Middle School of Alabama by 49 points. According to www.nasparchery.com, six teams from around the nation compiled team scores.

“We knew we had a chance (to win),” said Anderson assistant coach Dana Mehs, who explained that a 3,600 is a perfect score. “We had been shooting about 3,300 in practice.”

In addition to the team championship, Cameron Peyton, competing as a sixth-grader, took first place in the male elementary division with 286 points, six points better than the second place finisher. Peyton defeated 148 other archers from around the United States and Canada.

Seventh-grader Tiffany Yount also finished high, placing fourth in the middle school female division with 284 points, and eighth-grader Justin Mehs placed fifth in the middle school male division, also with 286 points.

The archers are all one grade ahead of the age in which they competed as the event was the completion of last year’s competition.

The competition lasted two days and the Mustangs found out they had won the team competition late Saturday afternoon.

The team had not had a competition since May, but Mehs said the team had been working for the tournament since August and has been practicing four days a week since Labor Day under the direction of head coach Brian Peyton.

“Our kids worked really hard with practice and fund-raising to help offset the cost of the trip. I am really proud of how well mannered our kids were,” added assistant coach David Frederick. “I received many comments about how polite our group of kids were. A lot of other teams were trying to trade pins and bumper stickers with our team. All of our kids shot well and really hung in there to the last shot. They shot a new team record and really put the pressure on the other teams.”

The team arrived in Orlando on Wednesday and practiced Thursday. The competition began Friday.

The meet was the most prestigious that the archery team has ever won.

“We were ecstatic,” Mehs said. “I can’t explain it.”

E-mail John Herndon at jpherndon@theandersonnews.com.