Top Pin archer brings home title
Published: Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
Aleah Siders isn’t your normal teenager.
While some teenagers spend their free time at the mall with friends, that isn’t the case for Siders, 16, of Hill City, who has been heavily involved in archery since she was introduced to the sport at the age of 12 by her father, Dan.
Now she is consumed with the sport so much that she had the chance to head to Louisville, Ky., with four other youths from the Hill City and Custer archery teams to attend the National Field Archers Association (NFAA) Indoor National Shoot.
Siders, who is home-schooled, and her whole family — Mom, Aundrea, Dad, Dan, and her brother, Drew, who is 13 — love the sport and all participate. It all started when Dan wanted to look at bows and brought his daughter along with him. From that moment, she was fascinated and wanted to take up the sport.
Siders practices at Top Pin Archery east of Custer and spends a lot of her time practicing for leagues and tournaments. She shoots for Junior Olympic Archery Development, which is run through USA Archery, which has kids from all over the country in the group. The kids have mail-in quarterly tournaments and turn in scores to their coaches. Siders’ coach, Loyce May, registered her for the NFAA.
The competition ran from March 15-16, where Siders took first place in the adult female bow hunter freestyle class.
Her brother also qualified to shoot at nationals with a Recurve Bare Bow category, the only male youth to do so. He placed third in his class.
Some of Siders’ accomplishments in the young adult female category include two first place indoor state titles, one second place indoor state title, three first place wins at the South Dakota State 3-D Outdoor Competition, two first place wins in the Wyoming State 3-D Outdoor Competition and a lot of local 3-D tournament titles.
Siders’ goal is to shoot at the NFAA National 3-D Competition in Redding, Calif., in 2015. This is an outdoor competition set up in a natural wildlife setting on targets that look like real animals.
“The Junior Olympic Archery Development is a good program for kids to get involved in and start shooting archery,” Siders said. “I love teaching young children how to shoot and I have noticed an increase in the sports popularity since the Hunger Games movie.”
Four other shooters represented Top Pin Archery at the national event, with three placing, including Gunner Prior, who took first place in the Club Freestyle Limited; Emme Schmidt, who took third in Young Adult Bare Bow; and coach Loyce May, who placed second in the Master Senior Freestyle Class.
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