A former Rim Country Middle School student has joined Payson's Margaret Hargett on the USA Junior Outdoor Target Archery World Championship team that will travel next month to Great Britain.
Brady Ellison, now a sophomore at Glendale Mountain Ridge High School, earned his spot on the championship squad at Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOADs) team trails June 6 in Salt Lake City. Hargett also qualified at the same time in Salt Lake.
Ellison moved from Payson to Glendale two years ago. In recent months, he has won 3D competitions at Clint's Well, in Laughlin, Nev. and at a New Mexico indoor shoot.
According to his grandmother, Alesha Calderwood of Payson, he'll also travel to Georgia, Illinois and Colorado for shoots.
Other Arizona archers on the U.S. junior team are Ryan Davis and Maggie Huff of Tucson and Robby Repp and Lindsay Pian of Scottsdale.
According to JOAD representative Julie Richardson, having six Arizona archers on the 32-person team is unprecedented.
In Great Britain, the U.S. team will compete against the world's best junior archers with the goal of bringing home USA gold.
The Arizona JOADs, Richardson said, have been competing in target archery for several years and some took part in a recent five-month Arizona training program including classes, tournament and team training.
The JOAD program is the youth component of the National Archery Association and is sanctioned by the United States Olympic Committee to develop Olympic athletes.
The $2,000 cost per archer for food, lodging and travel to the week long tournament in Great Britain is unfunded by the National Archery Association or the U.S. Olympic Committee.
According to Richardson, Arizona JOAD has raised $2,400 for the team but the goal is to raise $12,000.
Donations can be mailed to the Arizona State Archery Association, P.O. Box 11492, Glendale, AZ 85318-1492.
Hargett and her parents are in the process of planning fund-raisers to help defray the costs of the trip.
An account has been opened at the Payson branch of the Bank of America where sponsors can make contributions.