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Triton Central archers return to the podium

The Triton Central Elementary School archery team celebrates its third-place finish Saturday at the 2019 Indiana National Archery in the Schools Program State Tournament.

By ROSS FLINT - rflint@shelbynews.com

The Indiana State Fairgrounds is becoming a familiar site this time of year for the Triton Central Elementary School archery team.

More specifically, the podium at the state tournament.

For the second year in a row, the team, which shot 2,954, came in third place at the state tournament, which takes place at the fairgrounds Champions and Blue Ribbon Pavilions, behind Hayden Elementary (3,135 points) and Deputy Elementary (3,014). Triton Central also finished runner-up in 2016.

Coach Jeremy Sherman said he was “very pleased” with the team’s continued success, noting this is the school’s fifth year of having the program. Triton Central came in ninth in 2017.

“I’m very happy with that,” he said. “We’ve been in that top 10 so I’m just very happy with it.”

While the team didn’t reach 3,000 points on Saturday, a feat it accomplished earlier in the season, nine archers did shoot personal bests. He was also particularly pleased with the fourth- grade students who were competing at state for the first time.

“This was their first time being there and they stepped it up,” he said. “The knew what was at stake. Watching those kids improve, we started in October, they were able to compete at state at a large venue they’re not used to.”

Fifth-grader Ryan Goodwin led the team, shooting 270, which put him in 11th out of 278 among elementary school boys. Jocelyn Oertel, a fourth grader, shot 258, ranking her 28th of 263 elementary school girls.

Rounding out the top five were fourth-grader Lucy May (257) and fifth-graders Gwyn Williams (256) and Hayden Beaver (245).

Unlike previous years, Triton Central shot at the end of the day, allowing the team to stick around for the awards ceremony. For Sherman, it was fun seeing them receive their ribbons.

“I love to see that,” he said. “I want them to do their best and have fun. It’s fun to be good and fun to win. For these kids, it truly is.”

The elementary school advanced to the national competition May 9 in Louisville.

The middle and high school teams also competed.

The high school finished 27th of 36 schools and was led by freshman Heather Land, who shot 282, ranking her 20th out of 380 high school girls.

Junior Alex Hill shot 277, ranking him 86th of 380 high school boys. He was followed by freshman Lilly Whitis (276), sophomore Danielle Keefer (270) and senior Jon Riggins (267).

The middle school also came in 27th of 37 schools.

Seventh-grader Ethan Cales led the team, shooting 269, ranking him 71st of 419 middle school boys. Eighth-grader David Powers shot 264, followed by sixth-grader Mikayla Spears (257), sixth-grader Nina Ross and seventh-grader Nick Ramsey, both shooting 256.