|  TPWD News Releases Dated 2009-05-19                                    |
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [TH]
May 19, 2009
Student Archers on Target for World Records
AUSTIN, Texas -- They came to Louisville, Kentucky with equipment invented in Africa 52,000 years ago. They arrived by auto, bus, and airplane in singles, pairs and excited packs until 4,565 student archers had gathered to obliterate the world record for the largest archery tournament in world history. The 2009 National Archery in the Schools Program championship was about to begin.
Among the participants were 94 Texas students attending the archery nationals for the first time, all of whom had to raise the necessary funds for buses, hotels, meals, and registration. This included teams from Kaufman ISD, Ennis Junior High and High School and St. Mary's Catholic School in Sherman. Individuals from Stephenville High School, Lamar Middle School in Lewisville and St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Wimberley also participated. Argyle High School registered for the tournament but was not allowed to travel due to H1N1 flu concerns.
Between the 1st whistle to "shoot" May 8 and the last whistle to "go get arrows" May 9, the 4th-through-12th grade archers released 182,600 arrows into 80-centimeter international targets. Laid end to end the arrows would reach from Louisville to just south of Indianapolis, Indiana. Some arrows landed more centered than others, but no doubt each young participant will remember the day they made NASP history.
The in-school target archery program started in 21 Kentucky schools on March 3, 2002. NASP's aim is to teach target archery skills to students in grades 4-12 as part of the in-school curriculum. The rapidly expanding program is currently presented in more than 5,000 schools in 46 states and five countries by nearly 16,000 teachers. Educators are told archery is ranked safer than every ball sport taught in schools except table tennis.
"We had a great time in Kentucky," said archery coach Nathan Wieck of St. Mary's Catholic School in Sherman. "The parents this year got really excited and involved and cheered like crazy, so I'm not sure how we missed out on a spirit award? Both teams scored 100 points higher than our state scores, so we are getting there but still have a ways to go."
Likewise, coach Kyle Brietz said the Ennis Junior High and High School teams had a successful trip to Louisville. The junior high team posted a team score of 3023, placing 33rd in a 65-team field. The high school team, comprised mostly of junior high kids "shooting up" scored a respectable 2,799.
"Shooting a 3000 with the NASP distance and scoring format is quite an accomplishment. Our Junior High teams have now done it twice, both at national finals. I think the bar is going to be raised every year as more schools recognize the benefits of having an archery program in their schools, and that starting that program in the early grades, like Kentucky did, is a big advantage."
Every student at the tournament shot 10 practice and 30 scoring shots using identical equipment at the same target from 10 and 15 meters. The highest possible individual score is 300 and the highest possible team score is 3,600.
NASP archery is a co-gender discipline with every team required to contain boys and girls. Thirty-eight percent of the participants at the tournament were female. In fact, Jessica Nystrom from Hartland High School in Hartland, Michigan, tied NASP legend, Graham Cofield's world record with a score of 298.
NASP is a non-profit foundation able to operate only by support from a variety of generous donors. Many of these donors were present at the nationals including medal-level sponsors; Mathews Archery, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Morrell Targets, The Block, and Rinehart Targets. The National Field Archery Association's MJ Rogers was again on hand to loan and help set up the NFAA's huge portable indoor archery range.
A complete list of tournament award winners in every division and a list of scholarship sponsors can be found on the NASP Web site. The 2010 NASP Nationals will be held again at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky on May 7-8. All students who qualified to attend the 2009 nationals are being invited to attend the first annual NASP World Tournament in Orlando, Florida on October 7-1l.
For information about the Texas-National Archery In The Schools program, contact Burnie Kessner with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department at burnie.kessner@tpwd.texas.gov or (979) 862-7341. Or, see the TPWD archery in the schools Web page.
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[ Note: This item is more than eight years old. Please take the publication date into consideration for any date references. ]
[ Media Contact: TPWD News, news@tpwd.texas.gov, 512-389-8030 ] [AR]
May 19, 2009
New Web App Tracks Texas Tarpon
AUSTIN, Texas -- A new online tool created by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will help anglers find out where tarpon have been seen or caught in Texas waters, and will help biologists learn more about the "silver king's" distribution and movements.
"Tarpon are extreme game fish highly sought after by sport anglers," said TPWD Coastal Fisheries Outreach Specialist Art Morris, who first proposed the new tool. "This application should not only help those looking to target tarpon but help us understand this charismatic and hard-to-study species."
Members of the TPWD GIS Lab's Resource Information System (RIS) team spent nearly two years building the application.
Texas was once an international destination for anglers seeking to land a trophy tarpon. U.S. presidents, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, have successfully landed the species in Texas waters, and Port Aransas, Texas, was once named for the species.
Today's Texas tarpon fishery centers on Gulf passes and nearshore waters, primarily spring through fall, but angler reports and TPWD gill net sampling indicates the fish can be found at scattered locations throughout the state's bays and estuaries.
While the reasons are not entirely known, it is generally accepted that the current abundance of the species in Texas waters is nowhere near its historical highs.
"This application will allow the public to assist biologists track current tarpon use of Texas waters to better understand and manage the species." said Morris.
The new web application allows TPWD staff and anglers and researchers to query the number and type of tarpon observations using dates, radius from a point based on latitude and longitude, bay name or coastal area. The application features GoogleTM Maps, allowing for satellite-based imagery and the ability to zoom in, zoom out and pan to locations of interest.
The Membership Security Module offers a password protected interface for editing the database allowing authorized users to report their observations via the Internet. This will allow for other reportable data such as information about observation time of year, temperature at location, and tarpon length and weight (if known).
Close to 300 observations already are loaded into the application, primarily from TPWD records and a few early volunteers. The web application is the first of its kind for the Gulf of Mexico.
"If successful, the program could be expanded to include other states and Mexico as well as other, less common species such as snook or large sharks," said Morris. "Ultimately, the program will help researchers and anglers alike in understanding this elusive game fish."
Anglers or members of the public who wish to record observations can log in to the application on the TPWD Web site, or e-mail tarpon@tpwd.texas.gov for more information.
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