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May 15, 2013

Woodlawn wins national title, sets record

This isn’t the first national archery championship for Murray County’s Woodlawn Elementary School.

And it may not be its last championship this season.

The Timberwolves’ trip to Louisville, Ky., this past weekend was a success as the team scored a 3,300 to win the National Archery in the Schools Program’s elementary division national championship and break the world record.

Braxton Bates led Woodlawn with a 288, the fourth-best individual score among sixth-graders.

He was followed by teammates Tucker Hemphill (282), Alyssa Laviana (279), Luke Headrick (276), Christian Baldridge (276), Jennifer Alfonso (274), Shelby Goodrich (274), Ashlee Jones (273), Aubrey Coker (273), Case WInkler (272), Dylan Flood (269) and Justin Stafford (264).

Woodlawn’s average score was a 275. Teams can have 24 archers participate and use the best 12 scores for team tallies. Timberwolves coach Brad Bates said no team ever reached the 3,300 mark, with the previous record of 3,298 set at last year’s NASP World Championships in Orlando, Fla.

The Timberwolves’ round happened early on Saturday and many elementary school teams still had to complete their rounds. Coach Bates said he felt confident about Woodlawn’s score, but wasn’t certain.

“I felt strongly it would, but I’m the type of person I always have cautious optimism,” he said. “I’ve been in sports long enough to see us go from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.”

This is the second national title for the program, which was founded in 2008 and won this event in 2011. In 2010 and 2012, the Timberwolves finished third. Woodlawn had the 47th best score out of 421 schools in the event, regardless of age group.

“Every so often we’d check our phones and look the scores up,” coach Bates said. “We had to do that until the very end.”

Woodlawn won the Region 4 elementary division title and Georgia state title earlier this spring, the fourth time for both accomplishments. Now the Timberwolves look to next month’s World Championships, from June 28-30 in St. Louis. They won the 2010 title but have yet to complete a four-for-four sweep of region, state, nationals and world.

“You don’t just go to the world tournament and walk in and win,” coach Bates said. “That is our goal to get that done.”

Also in Louisville, North Murray finished 66th in the high school division with a score of 3,234. Bagley finished 86th in the middle school division with a score of 3,112.

Both North Murray and Bagley qualified for the World Championships, which required a score of 3,100 in nationals. Woodlawn is the feeder school for Bagley, which feeds into North Murray.

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