The 2014 Canadian National Archery Championships were held in Lac La Biche, Alta. Aug. 1 to 10 and three sharp-shooters from the East Kootenays returned home in decorated fashion.
“The success rate was amazing,” said Cranbrook Archery Club coach Elaine Johnson. “We try not to push the kids to go in and make a podium spot.
“There can only be three people that hit the podium out of a lot [of competitors]. We push the kids really hard at doing their very best and [to focus on] sportsmanship.”
Cranbrook’s Brittany Johnson heads the champion shooters, having earned a gold medal and two silver medals in women’s junior compound bow competition. Brittany earned a gold in FITA competition, along with a silver in the Canadian Open and field competitions.
Brittany set a Canadian record in her first elimination round of Canadian Open shooting, which is a combination of junior- and senior-aged competitors. Archers compete in the 720 and 1440 competitions, combining scores from each event for a total score. 720 competition has an archer fire 72 arrows all from a distance of 50 metres, while the 1440 competition requires archers shoot 36 arrows from four different distances. Brittany’s Canadian Open score of 145 eclipsed the previous record score of 142. She would later be defeated in the Canadian Open final match-up.
Adam Pitney, also of Cranbrook, earned two gold medals in men’s junior compound bow competition. Pitney’s field win was earned in a head-to-head, one arrow shoot off as he and another competitor were tied following regular competition. Pitney found success in the field and FITA events.
Jaffray’s Kevin Evans rounded out the group of winners, bringing home a gold medal in men’s senior para-open compound bow FITA competition.
Luc Volard, Keelan Boyle and coach Johnson — all of Cranbrook — and Kimberley’s Jessica Krewenchuk, also competed at the championships.
Coach Johnson said competitors shot several times a week for several hours at a time in order to prepare for the Canadian National Archery Championships.
Additionally, some engage in aerobic and weight training programs to further prepare for competition.