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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • St. James' Snelson wins national championship

  • St. James resident Dusty Snelson, who has already won countless other archery competitions, can now add one more title to his resume – national champion.Snelson, 17, recently took the top prize in the National Field Archery Association’s 3D unmarked competition for young adults.“...
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  • St. James resident Dusty Snelson, who has already won countless other archery competitions, can now add one more title to his resume – national champion.
    Snelson, 17, recently took the top prize in the National Field Archery Association’s 3D unmarked competition for young adults.
    “I went in thinking I was going to win it, but then I realized some of those other kids were pretty good,” he said. “They got in some great shots this weekend, but I still came out on top.”
    The two-day tourney in Yankton, S.D., started Saturday. That first day, Snelson had a slight lead over his competition, finishing with a score of 301, which was one point ahead of his next closest competitor.
    “A good score is 300 or higher. You call a score of 300 breaking even,” he said.
    The next day, Snelson finished with a score of 289, which he credited to the difficulty of the course.
    He said the yardage for the event was more difficult to gauge, which made the course harder for everyone. The tourney was also held over a windy and hot weekend, with temperatures reaching the triple-digits.
    Instead of shooting at simple, traditional targets as some might expect, the style of shooting in which Snelson is now the national champ had him shooting at 3D, lifelike animals.
    “We shoot at deer, elk, boars, all animals from North America,” he said.
    Snelson said his national championship wouldn’t have been possible without the support of his father, David Snelson.
    “He is the one who pushed me and inspired me to become a national champion,” he said. “I couldn’t have done it without him.”
    With his father’s guiding hand, Snelson has been shooting since he was 4 years old, and has been shooting competitively since he was 9.
    He said he hopes to keep shooting for years to come.
    ‘It’s my life,” he said. “I love it.”
    In the past, Snelson has captured state championships, sectional championships and won a number of other tourneys throughout the country.
    The next competition on his radar is this summer’s Show-Me Games, which he won in the past.
    He said he also hopes to compete in the NFAA’s national championship again next year, although he will not be able to defend his title, since the age range for young adults is 14-17 and Snelson will then be 18 years old.
    “With my score in the young adult division this year, I would have taken 6th place as an adult, and both divisions go from the same stakes,” he said. “If you place in the top 10 as an adult in the national championships, you’re doing well.”

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