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National archery championship takes over the Helena area this weekend

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Posted at 6:02 PM, Jul 28, 2023

HELENA — The Western 3D and Outdoor Target National Championship has archers from throughout the country gathered in the Helena area this Friday through Sunday.

The competition is made up of four different age groups, from young kids to young adults, as well as four different divisions.

Students are not only shooting for first, but the older competitors are shooting for the chance at college scholarships and even for a chance to shoot on the collegiate level and beyond.

Archers from all around the country come to compete in this three-day competition. On Friday, the outdoor target shooting competition took place at the Siebel Soccer Complex in Helena. And over the weekend, folks will head up to Great Divide for the 3D archery competition. The 3D archery competition utilizes foam life-size animals as the targets.

Jeremy Garness, State Coordinator for the Montana Chapter of Scholastic 3D Archery, says that archery is a family-oriented sport that can be learned by anyone.

“It’s a sport for everybody. It’s a real family sport. You know, a lot of the parents and stuff that are here shoot, as well. So, when they’re, you know, going to other shoots it’s a family thing and you shoot together. And it’s just a real warm and welcoming community. And like I said, it’s something everybody can do. You don’t have to be athletic to shoot a bow,” says Jeremy.

Jeremy is also the head coach for his daughter’s team, as well. Sage Garness has been practicing archery since she was about 3.5 years old. She says she likes archery for the community and the opportunity to travel.

“And you just meet a bunch of new and amazing people. And you get to travel around and see friends that you don’t always get to see all the time, so, it’s exciting to see them,” says Sage.

Another archer, Callah Kenney from Clancy, just recently took home first at another national competition in Iowa.

“So, my dad really got me started. He was just out practicing for hunting and I kind of just started shooting arrows in the grass. But I really enjoy it. I’ve just always stuck with it,” says Kenney.

This is the event’s 3rd annual 3D national archery competition and the 2nd annual national competition for outdoor target shooting.