South Texas JOAD team has strong showing at nationals

Allison Williams, (right), of Victoria competed in the Easton JOAD National Archery Tournament in Sacramento, Calif. over the weekend. Williams finished ninth.
  • MEDALISTS FROM SOUTH TEXAS JOADElizabeth Haynes, team bronze

    Megan Frerich, team silver

    Katie Fischer, team bronze

    Heather Barthels, team bronze

    Miriam Trafford, team bronze

    Emily Fischer, individual gold

    Hardy Trafford, individual bronze

    Miriam Trafford, individual gold

    Anushka Hassan, individual ...

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  • MEDALISTS FROM SOUTH TEXAS JOADElizabeth Haynes, team bronze

    Megan Frerich, team silver

    Katie Fischer, team bronze

    Heather Barthels, team bronze

    Miriam Trafford, team bronze

    Emily Fischer, individual gold

    Hardy Trafford, individual bronze

    Miriam Trafford, individual gold

    Anushka Hassan, individual silver

    Christina Haynes, team silver

    Cody Garrett, team silver

    Emily Fischer, team bronze

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gene Kacir stood waiting in the wings, watching Tori Haynes shoot her compound bow in competition. Between each end, he would give her advice and offer assistance.

Are you keeping an eye out for the wind, the archery coach asked. Is your equipment still working OK? Is everything tight on the bow?

All of which she is aware of, especially the equipment. A compound bow vibrates when shot, and certain facets can loosen when it's used a lot, which is exactly what happened to her the day before.

"It kind of made everything loose, so when I shoot, the whole bow to vibrates and it causes the stabilizing site to become loose," Haynes explained later. "Yesterday, every time I'd shoot, the bow would vibrate and it would cause the arrow to go away."

Cacir was just being sure before she approached the next end.

"At this point in the tournament, it takes a lot of hard work, not just by the coaches, but by the archers too," he said. "An archer will not get to this level if they don't put effort into it.

"I think I'm a reasonable coach, and I know Tom (Barker) is a good coach, but it also takes dedication from the archers. We cannot do it alone."

Haynes was one of several from the South Texas Junior Olympic Archery Development team, or JOAD, competing in the Easton JOAD national archery tournament here over the weekend. Many of the members of the group, which is based out of Victoria, found good success during the three day event. Haynes, along with Emily Fischer of Corpus Christi, will compete Monday for one of three slots in her age group to compete in international competition in Poland in late August.

Eight members of the South Texas JOAD club have finished in the top 10 of their respective age group and bow type during qualifying rounds: Hunter Barthels of Victoria took eighth in his competition; Allison Williams of Victoria took ninth; Heather Barthels of Victoria took eighth in her recurve division; Haynes took eighth in her compound bow division.

Also placing from the club were Anushka Hassan of Houston (second), Emily Fischer (first), Kate Fischer of Corpus Christi (ninth), and Tristan Frerich of Sinton (second).

Hunter Barthels kept pace with one of the best in the country in the compound bow competition, Riley Whiting. In the quarterfinals of the cadet compound bow competition, through four ends, he and Whiting were tied before Whiting beat him by two points, 148-146 after the fifth and final end.

"I knew I could do it because I shoot against my coach all the time," he said. "They've done a lot to bring me to this point. ... Everyone's scores are just a couple points away."

No one gets to this level of archery by accident.

"No," Barthels said. "We get here by practice."

But this means the archers are professionals at making adjustments on the fly. Barthels said shot process, and deciding how to take a shot, is critical for him. He has a scope, which compound archers use to see down range.

Not that he needs it, his mother, Brandi, said.

"Hunter can usually see where he shot without it," she said. "But he's gotten into the habit of checking it."

The JOAD nationals event is a chance each summer for many of the members of the South Texas club to see the country and take a family vacation, and sometimes the world. Haynes said the farthest she's traveled is to Pennsylvania for this tournament, which was 2009.

This trip has meant a chance to experience the outdoors for the Barthels family, which included zip lining at Lake Tahoe, gold panning in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in the same area where gold was discovered in mid-1800s.

But no matter where the club ends up, they try to stay together.

"No matter where they are on the range, they'll all walk together," said Brandi Barthels.