Local archers compete with world’s best
HUGHESVILLE – Many children play team sports or engage in pastimes like bicycling or computer games. There are few who choose to excel in the sport of archery, and a local family has done just that.
Emalee, Bethany, and JD Lunger, children of Mike and Tracy Lunger, have honed their skills in archery to a very high level. They have become so highly skilled that they have traveled to international competitions across the United States and placed among the top-scoring archers in the world.
The three siblings, accompanied by their parents, have been shooting for a number of years and realized they really enjoy the sport. Last July, they traveled to Yankton, South Dakota for the Outdoor Field/Hunter/Animal National Championship, a three day event with distances ranging from 12 feet to 80 yards. The courses were through wooded areas, open, hot sunny fields, and rocky terrain, with 28 targets. Each competitor had four arrows for each target. JD won a National Title in the Cub division (ages up to 11). Bethany placed third in the Youth Female Division (ages 12-14), and Emalee placed seventh in Young Adult Female Division (ages 15-17).
This year has been a busy one for the Lungers! In January they joined competitors from all over the world at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex in Lancaster, PA for the Lancaster Archery Classic, a two day shoot.
On day one shooters had qualification rounds, then elimination rounds on the second day, leading to the top four shooters. Emalee finished 4th, Bethany was 9th of the 45 girls in her division, and JD, the youngest competitor in his division, was 71st of 90 archers.
In February the trio competed in the World Archery Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. Emalee earned 5th place and Bethany earned 8th, both in the Young Adult Female Division, while JD earned 5th place in the Cub Male Division.
March saw them at the Indoor National Championship at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio where they each shot a perfect score! In this competition, a perfect score must be followed by shooting precision rounds. Emalee and Bethany finished 12th and 13th, respectively, in the Young Adult Female Division, and JD finished 6th in the Cub Male Division.
The Pennsylvania State Indoor Championship in Harrisburg is the next event on the Lunger family calendar, to be followed by PA State Target Championships in June. The PA State Field/Hunter Championships and National Outdoor Championships will both be held in July. Rounding out the summer is the PA Animal State Championships.
The family are members of the PSAA, NFAA, PFATA, and Mechanicsburg Archery Club. They are sponsored by several archery product companies, with their top sponsor being Weaver’s Archery Pro Shop in Middleburg, PA.