Mia Cornelson, a fifth grader at Dixon Elementary in Irvington, was named the top female competitor in the elementary school division at this year’s National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Eastern National Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky.
She shot a score of 294 out of a possible 300 and was awarded a $2,000 college scholarship. Cornelson’s performance at the event earned her a spot on the Academic Archer All-American Archery Team.
“As a coach, this is what you dream of for your archers,” said Faye Hussong, who is a physical education instructor at Dixon and a NASP archery instructor. “I am so very proud of all her hard work and continuous dedication to improving her skills. I haven’t stopped smiling since she shot the 294 at nationals.”
Cornelson qualified after winning the Alabama championship. She recorded a score of 287 at that state meet.
Scoring for the tournament is based on Olympic-style, target archery in three divisions — elementary, middle and high school — and includes team and individual levels. NASP archery is a co-gender sport with every team required to contain boys and girls.
This year’s attendance of 14,946 at the NASP broke the Guinness World Record for the largest archery tournament in the world. The previous mark was set by the same event in 2012.
Also doing well at the national bull’s-eye competition was the Alma Bryant High School team from Irvington that placed third in the high school division. The win earned each team member a $500 college scholarship for a total of $12,000.
Alabama saw several teams and individual archers place in the top 20 of their respective divisions. For complete NASP National results, visit nasptournaments.org.
The NASP Academic Archer program recognizes students who maintain high academic achievement while enjoying the sport of archery. Currently, more than 31,000 students are registered in the program nationwide. Alabama’s participation in the program has increased from 1,031 archers in 2018 to 1,671 in 2019, ranking the state at fourth in the nation.
Two additional students from Alabama who participated in the tournament were chosen to join Cornelson on the All-American Archery Team. Those include Matthew Alexander from Phillips Preparatory School in Mobile and Caleb Thornton from Alma Bryant.
The Alabama State Championship took place during April in Montgomery. Kasandra Lee Burch of Alma Bryant was the overall female performer with a score of 291.
Burch helped her team win the High School Division with a score of 3,447. Dixon finished third in the Elementary School Division with a score of 3,120.
In the Individual High School Females division, Courtney Brown of Alma Bryant finished third with a score of 290. In the Individual High School Males bracket, Tommy Bouler of Alma Bryant was third with a score of 294.
In the Individual Middle School Males division, Matthew Alexander of Phillips Preparatory was second with a score of 289, while Harrison Trout of Clark-Shaw Magnet School in Mobile was third with a score of 288.
In the Individual Elementary School Females bracket, just behind Cornelson was her Dixon teammate Annah Edwards with a score of 283. Complete results for the Alabama NASP State Championship are available at nasptournaments.org.
Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries coordinate the state archery program through partnerships with various schools and supporting organizations. Alabama NASP promotes discipline, self-esteem and life skills for students in grades 4 through 12.
HITTING THE BEACH
Baldwin County is hosting a large amount of athletic events this summer. The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) alone is hosting nine baseball and softball tournaments at the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach sportsplexes, bringing more than 1,200 teams to the beach in June and July.
“In 2018, USSSA tournaments generated 48,445 room nights and $58.54 million in economic impact,” said Beth Gendler, vice president of sales for the Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Sports Commission. “With more than 200 additional teams over last year, plus their families and fans heading to the Alabama Gulf Coast in 2019, local businesses should feel the love. We are proud to facilitate these events alongside USSSA and invite each family to play hard at the fields and throughout our beach communities.”
Other summer sports highlights include the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) Summer Slam Tennis Tournament (June 21-23), Dance Grand Nationals (July 2-6), The Shark Run (July 4), Gulf Coast Region Beach Volleyball Grand Championship (July 6) and Waterville USA Flow Tour National Championship (August 17). Wrapping up the summer sports lineup is the Brett/Robinson Alabama Coastal Triathlon on September 7.
Meanwhile up Highway 59, the Foley Sports Tourism group has a full schedule. On June 27-28, the Foley Showdown is a 7-on-7 high school football tournament that brings teams from across the state. From August 22-25, the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) Atlantic South Regional pickleball tournament is set, which qualifies players for the national tournament in California.
On September 6-8, more than 1,000 female athletes will be present for the Bounders Beach Bash and the Publix SuperCup Girls Weekend. The Bounders Beach Bash is an annual youth gymnastics tournament that features a range of age and skill levels. The Publix SuperCup Girls Weekend brings youth club soccer teams to Foley. The boys play soccer the following weekend (September 14-15).
GILES HONORED BY SSAC FOR ACADEMICS
The Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) has named University of Mobile junior Heidi Giles its Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the 2018-19 school year.
This is just one of many awards for the Canadian soccer star. She was also selected First Team All-Conference, SSAC All-Academic Team, Google Cloud COSIDA All-Academic Team, Daktronics National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Scholar-Athlete and NAIA All-American Honorable Mention.
Giles has maintained a 4.0 grade point average during her college career while taking upper-level, business-accounting classes. On the field, she played in 19 games and led a Ram defense that limited opponents to one goal or less in 11 matches.
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