Local archer ranks in national tourney

by Alexandria Randolph

Highland Lakes Newspapers


An 11-year-old girl from Oatmeal placed in a world champion youth archery tournament in August.

Aspen Nelson, a student at Faith Academy, placed sixth in Junior Buckmasters World Champion Tournament, a worldwide youth archery competition in Montgomery, Ala. after under two years of practicing the sport.

Stepdad Brian Klosterhoff said Nelson is a natural.

“She's ranked in the state of Texas for first place junior archer in 4-H,” he said.

Klosterhoff and friend Robert Lee began coaching a group of Burnet County 4-H students in archery in April 2015, when Nelson expressed interest in the sport.

“She wanted to do it and she has really taken off,” he said.

Nelson said she likes archery because “it's very challenging and you get to be outside. With archery, you have a hobby forever.”

Nelson competed in the state competition in July and the qualified for the World Champion Tournament in the nine to 14-year-old division. She was one of five youths sponsored by Buckmasters.

“She was the only one from Burnet County,” Klosterhoff said. “The other four were from Comanche County.”

“The lady from Buckmasters emailed my parents to ask if they could sponsor me,” Nelsons said. “They said, 'Yes, definitely.'”

On Friday, Aug. 19 in Montgomery, Nelson scored a perfect score of 100 and tied with four archers for first place which resulted in a shoot-off on Saturday. Nelson placed third in the shoot-off, which advanced her to shoot in a televised tournament at the 2016 Buckmasters World Champion Tournament.

“It's going to be televised on the Outdoor Channel,” Klosterhoff said, but the details of when the competition will be aired aren't yet available. “A hundred kids competed and they only took the top six,” he said. “I'm very proud.”

Nelson scored a perfect score of 32 in round one, tying for first, and in round two she was tied for third place. After round three, Nelson came ended in sixth place for the Junior Buckmasters World Champion Tournament.

“It felt pretty good,” she said. “It was very fun. I'm glad I could accomplish that.”

This coming year, Nelson said she is aiming for third place.

“I'm fine with fourth place or fifth place, but third is what I'm going for,” the 11-year-old said with confidence.

Klosterhoff said the Burnet County 4H Archery program began with three kids and has gradually grown to a group of 10 to 13.

“It's growing,” he said. “We could always use more volunteers.”

Tarla said the students practice four times a week, and have become known in other counties just within the last year.

“They've got a really good group of kids,” said Kelly Tarla, Burnet County AgriLife Extension Agent. “When the Burnet County kids show up to a tournament, the other kids go, 'Oh gosh, they're here…'”

Tarla said the leadership and training Klosterhoff and Lee have provided the kids is “amazing.”

“I can't know everything, so to have someone who knows what he's doing is great. We're really blessed in Burnet County. We have kids that are interested and adults that are willing to teach,” she said.

The Burnet County 4-H program has many opportunities for youth to learn life skills. Those interested in learning about all the opportunities 4-H has to offer may contact Esther McMillan at 512-715-0209 or Burnet County Extension office at 512-756-5463.

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