The first-ever Upper Iowa University Invitational Archery Tournament hit the mark Saturday as over 500 archers from nine area school districts participated at the UIU Rec Center. As part of the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Tournament, youth in grades 3-12 competed in three divisions.
The team winners included Bellevue Elementary, Elementary Division; Wapsie Valley High School, Middle Division, and Alburnett Community School, High School Division. The top individual archer was sixth-grade student Lane Mollenhauer of Central City Community School.
“What a great way to kick off the start of Upper Iowa’s newest club sport,” said LeAnn Cushion, UIU director of campus recreation. “The turnout from the eastern Iowa school districts was overwhelming. At the same time, some of our club members who volunteered to help Saturday benefitted from observing an archery tournament for the first time.”
Cushion noted that it was UIU President William R. Duffy, who was the major influence behind organizing the University’s Archery Club last fall. With the president’s support, UIU obtained the guidance of the Wapsie Valley Archery Club and Echo Valley Archers to launch the club sport.
“I just think it is a fun activity and provides another place for students on the Fayette campus to hang out together,” said Club president Ryland Richards, a UIU senior conservation management major. “My goal is getting as many people involved in the sport as I can. I want the Upper Iowa Archery Club to be another reason future students want to attend our University.”
An avid outdoorsman, the Maquoketa, Iowa, native said he first started enjoying archery as a young child while in Scouting. With a passion for the sport, the Eagle Scout quickly joined and became actively involved with organizing the UIU club team this past fall.
“Archery is simply a fun sport. I have never grown bored of it,” added Richards, who also serves as president of the UIU Science and Environment Club. “The Archery Club will allow Upper Iowa students to take part in one of the largest growing sports in the country.”
The UIU Archery Club consists of approximately 15 members. The skill level of the participants range from longtime bow hunters and/or archery competitors to those picking up a bow for the first time. Currently, Club members practice as a group twice per week. The participants will compete in United States College Archery Association-affiliated tournaments throughout the Midwest.
“From ordering the equipment to scheduling our first competitions, each of the members has played a part in getting this club established,” said Cushion. “A goal for the near future is to develop a competitive team of approximately 30 members. Ultimately, we want to field a team that becomes recognized regionally and nationally for its achievements.”
The recently elected UIU Archery Club officers include Richards as president; vice president Tyler Bostwick, Antigo, Wis.; secretary Luke Kloft, Dubuque, Iowa; treasurer Beau Sorenson, Woden, Iowa. UIU advisors include Cushion, Amanda Passmore, Jesse Pleggenkuhle and Tucker Wentzien.
Cushion expressed her appreciation to the Wapsie Valley Archery, Jesup Archery, and St. John’s/St. A’s Archery clubs for managing the recent UIU tournament, as well as all UIU volunteers who helped during the daylong event.
For additional information about the UIU Archery Club, contact LeAnn Cushion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view photos from the Upper Iowa Invitational Archery Tournament go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/upperiowauniversity/sets/72157663697079205.