Montrose archer draws first place finish

About 1,100 competitors statewide take shots at top honors, trip to nationals.

The state National Archery in the Schools Program tournament held Friday in State College saw the biggest field of competitors in the tournament’s history – about 1,100 students from 41 schools throughout Pennsylvania.
Montrose’s Justin Birtch turned in the top individual score in the middle school division at Friday’s Pennsylvania NASP tournament that drew over 1,100 archery competitors to State College.

Birtch was the top-ranked seventh grade competitor and he ranked eighth overall in the tournament.

The top teams and individuals who competed Friday at the Penn State Multi-Sport Facility have the chance to qualify for the NASP National Tournament to be held May 9 and 10 in Louisville, Ky. Qualification for the national tournament is based on total point values, and the names of those who will be moving on will be available at a later date.

New Castle Christian Academy, Team 1 came away with top team honors in the elementary school division (fourth and fifth grades) at Friday’s state tournament in State College. In second place was Choconut Valley Team #1, with 2843 points; followed by Lathrop Street Elementary Team #1, with 2829 points.

New Castle Christian Academy, Team 1 took first place in the middle-school category (sixth through eighth grades), while Halifax High School, Team 1 was the top-scoring high-school team.

Birtch’s performance helped lead the Montrose Middle School Team #1 to a second place finish with 3,174 points. Montrose Middle School Team #2 placed seventh with 2,944 points.

In the High School Division, Montrose Team #1 finished in fifth place with 3,179; Blue Ridge Team #1 placed eighth with 3,117 points; and Blue Ridge Team #2 came in 11th with 2,889 points.

Male competitors turning in the best individual performances were Cameron Harvey, of New Castle Christian Academy, in the elementary division, Justin Birtch, of Montrose Middle School, in the middle-school division and Ian Fillinger, of New Brighton High School, in the high-school division.

Female competitors taking first place honors were Olivia Goodlin, of New Castle Christian Academy, in the elementary division; Taylor Richardson, of New Castle Christian Academy, in the middle-school division and Fawne Hopfer, of Tunkhannock High School, in the high-school division.

Ian Fillinger and Fawne Hopfer finished, respectively, as the top male and female overall.

Top 10 local individual competitors included:
Blue Ridge: Ryan Rogers finished in fifth place in the high school division;
Choconut Valley, boys: Kaleb Hayes, second place; Edward Wirth, 6th place; Bailey Shimer, 7th place;
Choconut Valley, girls: Cassidy Beeman, third place
Lathrop St., boys: Theodore Lubash, 4th place;
Lathrop St., girls: Elizabeth Lathrop, second place;
Montrose Middle, boys: Justin Birtch, first place; Zachery Oleniacz, 6th place; Maverick Naylor, 7th place;
Montrose Middle, girls: Hannah Perkins, fifth place.

A complete list of team and individual results is available at www.nasptournaments.org. Scroll down and click on “2014 Pennsylvania NASP State Tournament.” Some expanded results also are available on the Pennsylvania NASP Facebook page.

Competition offers an exciting component for students participating in NASP, which serves to introduce archery to youth and promote archery as a sport that can be enjoyed for a lifetime.

NASP, which started in Kentucky in 2002 and has since gained participants around the globe, came to Pennsylvania in 2005. The Game Commission in 2010 began coordinating Pennsylvania’s NASP, which helps school districts in Pennsylvania meet physical-education curriculum requirements set by the state Department of Education.

And for the last three years, a growing number of students and schools have participated in the statewide tournament. About 800 students competed in the tournament last year.

Today, about 155 Pennsylvania schools participate in NASP.

To get NASP started in a Pennsylvania school, contact Samantha Pedder, at the Game Commission headquarters, at 717-787-4250 (ext. 3327). Also, “PA NASP” can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PennNASP.