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RALEIGH — The Junior Olympic Archery Development national championship was held at the WRAL Soccer Park last weekend and 15 archers from North Carolina took home top-five finishes in their respective events. The archers competed against other participants from all over the country.
Some of the participants included local competitors from First Flight Archery Club off of Old Wake Forest Road in Raleigh, which is owned by John Winker. Their team, the Raleigh Revolution, had six archers place in the top five for the national championship and three of them won first place in their respective qualifiers event. Christopher Clade was the only competitor who won first place in the national championship for his event.
Clade of First Flight Academy captured first place in the barebow cadet men event qualifiers. His winning score was 1075 with his best round coming in round three with 276 points. He won the national championship by beating Gavin Ralston 6-0.
“Chris is a two-time national record holder from last year,” Winker said. “He’s one of the more gifted, natural archers I have ever met. He practices outdoors at his grandparents’ house. He’s been with us for the past 15 months.”
Gregory Broad of First Flight finished third in the same event with a total score of 857. He finished third in the national championship.
Mary Caffo of First Flight came in third in the barebow cadet women event. Her final score was 584 with her best round coming in round three with 193 points. She won the national championship by beating Margaret Baus 6-2.
“Mary joined our program seven months ago,” Winker said. “She’s not your typical athlete, so she was looking to compete in something she can excel at. She has come through pretty quickly and has put her nose to the grind for us.”
Julien Horner of First Flight won the barebow club men event qualifiers. His winning score was 1096 with his best scores coming in rounds two and four with 279 points each. He finished second in the national championship after losing to Nasir Harrison 6-4.
“Julien has been with our program for eight months,” Winker said. “He’s been working pretty diligently on his 30-meter outdoor game.”
Josiah Bloomfield of First Flight finished fourth in the same event with a total score of 1040. He finished third in the national championship by beating Srihith Gangireddygari 6-2.
Shiv Patel of Wolf Ridge Archery Club, a former Franklin Academy High School student, finished fourth in the recurve bowman men event in the qualifiers. He ended up with a total score of 1252 after four rounds with his best round coming in round three with 320 points.
Eli Hughes of Wolf Ridge Archery Club placed fourth in the compound junior men event in the qualifier. His total score was 1373 with his best round coming in round three with 348 points. He finished second to Connor Sears with a final score of 146-143 in the championship final.
His younger sister, Laura Hughes, finished second in the barebow junior women event qualifiers. Her total score was 877 with her best round coming in round four with 239 points. She finished fourth in the championship round, losing to Elizabeth Litwin 6-4.
Both Eli and Laura live in Haw River, east of Burlington. They both competed in the World Field Archery Championship in September 2018 in Cortina, Italy. Eli holds the Cadet Archery Class world record for 60 meters, which he set in September 2017 at age 17, as well as several other national records.
William Fowler of Boneyard Archery placed second in the compound club men event qualifiers. His total score was 1404 with his best round coming in round four with 354 points. He finished fourth in the championship round, losing to Colton Lash 149-148.
Rubie Chambers came in fifth in the barebow club women event qualifiers. Her total score was 1198 with her best round coming in round three with 317 points.
Jacob Olmstead of Wolf Ridge Archery Club won first place in the barebow bowman men event qualifiers. His winning score was 1171 with his best round coming in round one with 301 points. He won the national championship by beating Aiden Gilmore 6-0. Samuel Mendenhall of First Flight finished second in the same event with a total score of 860. He defeated Davis Garrett of Boneyard Archery to win third place in the national championship. Garrett also placed third in the qualifiers event with a final score of 654.
Shreya Rao finished second in the barebow bowman women event qualifiers. Her total score was 890 with her best round coming in round four with 242 points. She defeated Claire Mearns 6-0 to win third place in the national championship. Mearns finished right behind her in the same event at third place of the qualifiers with a final score of 632.