Nearly 2,000 youth participate in Missouri's 4-H archery program. And the program is producing some nationally ranked archers. A 13-year-old member of the Marion County Silver Spurs 4-H club is ranked not only first in the state and first in the nation, but also fourth in the world. Then there is a 17-year-old from Oyster Prairie 4-H who placed fifth in the World Archery Tournament in Las Vegas.
Cassie Hancock and Chase Wilson are at the pinnacle of their sport. In addition to her world ranking, the 13-year-old member of the Marion County Silver Spurs 4-H Club, recently took top honors in her division at the Missouri Bowhunters Association State Indoor Championship in Linn, where she broke the state record she set the previous year. She also won against 33 female competitors in her age division in the National Field Archery Association National Indoor Championship in Louisville, Ky., in March. This is the second-largest shoot in the U.S., only to the Las Vegas shoot, according to University of Missouri Extension 4-H specialist Gerry Snapp.
According to Snapp, Hancock makes archery look easy. However, it takes hours of practice to hit the target, so she hones her skill with 2-hour a day practices.
"Archery is 5% physical and 95% mental," Hancock explains Snapp says that Hancock is one of a growing number of girls involved in nontraditional 4-H activities. Still archery is also for young men.