Prince Albert hosts archers from across Saskatchewan for JOP Championships

Competitors draw their bows during the first day of the Junior Olympic Program (JOP) Championships in Prince Albert. -- Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald

The Alfred Jenkins Field House was packed with archers and spectators on the weekend.

The Timberland Bowbenders Archery Club played host to both the Junior Olympic Program (JOP) Championships and the Indoor Target Provincials on the weekend.

“It’s huge.” said Tiffany Jones, the JOP Program Coordinator for the Timberland Bowbenders. “This is one of the biggest events here in Saskatchewan that is going on today.”

More than 400 archers from all over Saskatchewan made the journey to Prince Albert to shoot in one or both events.

Jones says it was an honour for Timberland to get the opportunity to host the event.

“It’s awesome. We get to shoot in our hometown and we get to promote it to everybody what archery is. I don’t think there are very many people in the city that knows about it, but we’re promoting it.”

Lemmy Knudsen, Ferris Walters, and Carl Bothma were the top Timberland competitors on the weekend.

Knudsen defeated four other competitors to take first place in the Junior Archer category. Knudsen shot a 143 in round one to advance to the finals where he shot a 161. Cohen Dewald of Battle River Archers in North Battleford finished second with a final round score of 148, while Lukas Meyer of the Bowbusters Archery Club in Vanscoy took third.

Walters took first in the Olympian 240 category out a field of more than 20 archers. Walters shot a 243 in round one to earn a spot in the finals by a single point. Once there, he shot a 265 to take home the gold medal. Ella Garrett of Lloydminster shot a 258 to finish second, while Thomas Rakochy of the Frontier Bowmen in Regina took third.

Bothma took first in the Olympian 297-300 category, with fellow Timberland Bowbender Gage Malenfant finishing second. Both Prince Albert archers scored 292 in the final, with Bothma taking first by scoring two points higher in round 1. Samantha Renneberg of Saskatoon finished third.

Timberland archer Skylar Franco also medaled. Her final round of 255 was good enough to win silver in the Olympian 230 category. Hunter Banga of Langenburg took gold with a final round of 261, while Sam Betskal of Saskatoon earned bronze.