Freshmen take aim

Archers seek to expand support for “Olympic sports”


Janace Mork

Casey Jang, an internationally recognized archer, is practicing for one of her many competitions. Jang has placed in many tournaments including second in the state.

Averie Howell, Reporter

Most people have never held a bow or know much about archery at all, but two freshmen are aiming to increase interest in archery and other Olympic sports with a new club starting next year.

After starting archery only a year and a half ago, Casey Jang (9) travels to competitions in places such as California or Nevada, where she ranked 39 out of almost 100 archers in an international competition.

“I love going to competitions, especially out West, because there’s a diverse group of people coming from all over, and I love that I can make new friendships with the people that I compete with. Competing is one of the biggest reasons for me to do archery,” Jang said. “I’m so glad that more people are getting to know more about it.”

Day Galbreath (9), who began practicing in the sixth grade, is also a dedicated archer. 

 “Every week, we do at least one lesson,” Galbreath said, “but I try to keep it at three to four a week.”

These freshmen are not the only archers at St. Mary’s. Raina Becker (11) has been participating in the sport since she was five years old.

“My grandpa taught me, so it was a bonding activity with my brother and sister,” Becker said.

Both Jang and Galbreath practice at Avery Outdoors but are also members of the national organization, USA Archery (USAA), through which they register for tournaments. They competed at the state tournament in Nashville this year, where Jang placed second.

Since St. Mary’s does not have an archery team, Jang and Galbreath are planning to create a club to support and encourage interest in the sport next year. However, the club will expand to more than just archery. 

“Instead of doing our own individual archery club, we’re working with Coach to do an Olympic Sports club, like with equestrians, gymnastics and figure skating all kind of under one umbrella,” Jang said.

The two have many ideas for how to get a larger student population involved.

“We could do fundraisers to support our club, so some people wouldn’t have to pay for everything that they do,” Jang said. 

Becker, too, sees the potential success of this club.

“We kind of envision it as being a space for people who like archery or want to get into archery to kind of explore. It’s definitely not a time commitment,” Becker said. “If people want to just join the club to support their friends, you can do that, too.” 

Other students involved in these Olympic sports see a future for the club as well. Sofie Herbstrith (11) is an equestrian who spends time almost every day, around 20 hours a week, at the barn. 

“I think [the club is] a great idea. I think it’s good to have more at school for the sports that the school doesn’t offer,” Herbstrith said. “I think that there’s more variety with the Olympic club for the less recognized sports.”