Williams Lake rifle shooters competed in the Junior F-Class at the Western Canadian Archery Championships in Chilliwack, B.C. June 27-29.
Local marksmen make-up over half the entire Western Canadian Archery team of 12 and many have only recently taken up the sport.
“Seven of the 12 Juniors were from Williams Lake and eight of the 12 juniors had been shooting competitively for only three months,” said coach Terry Chupa.
Forty-six shooters competed in the event with 27 shooting F-Open (any calibre rifle up to 338) and 19 shooting F-TR (restricted to 223 or 308).
The Juniors always compete against the adults in individual F-Class competitions.
Among the seven local shooters, four of them earned top three finishes.
Steven Skakun placed first in the Junior F-Open while Thomas Pinchbeck earned a third place finish in the same category.
Justin Bond was second in the F-TR in Juniors and took third spot in the Sunday overall aggregate category.
Cassidy Chupa was third overall in F-TR for individuals, first place in Juniors, and second in the Sunday overall aggregate.
Other local members competing included Stephen Chipman, Josh Novakowski and Zach Herrick.
The other five team members include Samantha McPhee of Kamloops, Brittany Horon of Calgary, AB, Dylan Bisson of Cochrane, AB and brothers Kyle and Liam Buell of Demascus, OR.
Eight Juniors will be travelling to the Canadian National Championships in Connaught, Ontario starting Aug. 13 with six of the Juniors from Williams Lake.
Immediately following the nationals the venue will host the Americas Cup which is open to international competitors.
National teams from Great Britain, USA and Australia will be competing.
“The Juniors will be competing against the best shooters in Canada and in the American Cup the junior teams will match up against some of the best adult teams from nations all over the world,” said Chupa.
Chupa’s and the juniors’ future goal for the program is to compete as the first ever Junior F-Class team at the 2017 World Championships in Connaught, Ont.
The World Championships take place every four years and organizers have agreed for the first time ever to allow juniors to compete in 2017.
“It should be incredible being the first ever junior team to compete at a worlds, on our home soil in Canada during the countries 150th birthday celebration,” said Chupa.
Despite being three years away, the team is focussed on this long term goal.
“It’s still a long road to produce top notch athletes for an international event,” said Chupa. “With the help and support of our community we can make this a reality.”
The Junior team would like to thank all of their sponsors and a special thank you to Scott Nelson of Sun Valley Gas and Schickworks.