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Cameron’s Cauthen is world champ

Pictured are Hayle Parker, Jordyn Rivera, Jake Cauthen, Leighton Dyer and Coach Hank Austin

Jake Cauthen, an eighth grader at Cameron, won the 3D Archery World Championship this Saturday at the NASP World Open and Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. Cauthen, along with teammates Leighton Dyer, Hayle Parker and Jordyn Rivera, travelled to Louisville last week and competed in both bullseye and 3D competition. Cauthen finished first among 241 middle school (grades 6-8) boys.

“It came down to the wire,” said Cameron’s archery coach Hank Austin. “Jake shot on Thursday and held first place over three days of competition. It was nerve racking because most of the top shooters compete in the last flight (round) on Saturday. A young man from Missouri tied Jake’s score on Saturday but fell short by two tens (two arrows) on the tiebreaker. It was close and proves that every shot counts. Most of Jake’s competitors shoot 3D at the local and state level all season, but we don’t compete in 3D in Oklahoma, which makes his win even more special. Several NASP coaches in Oklahoma are hoping to come up with a way to add 3D to our local and state tournaments over the next few years.”

“Jake has a 3D and bullseye range setup at home. The kid eats, sleeps, and breathes archery. He never misses a practice or tournament,” Austin said. “Jake is a leader in our program and he’s always willing to help peer coach and encourage his teammates. This is an amazing individual accomplishment for him, but he wants his team to succeed too. He wants those team awards. That’s the kind of attitude any coach would want and be proud of.

“Our young ladies that competed last week represented our team very well also.”

This is Leighton’s Dyer’s first season and she qualified for the world championship. She entered the bullseye competition ranked 45th and left ranked 25th. It was only the second time for her to shoot 3D and she finished 37th out of 233 middle school girls. The world stage is nothing new for Parker and Rivera. Both travelled to Myrtle Beach for the world open and championship last year with Austin and the Shady Point archery team. “These girls worked hard, and it paid off,” Austin said. “I’m fortunate to be able to work with a great group of students and parents.”

Cauthen also came from Shady Point where his passion for the sport began as a fifth grader, the second year of the program’s existence under Austin. In his first year to ever compete he earned an invitation to the world championship in Nashville, Tennessee after competing well in bullseye at nationals. He also competed in the 3D world open while there and he won it becoming the male open champion in the elementary division that year. “When I moved to Cameron School this year Jake came to our summer archery camp and made the decision shortly after to become a Yellowjacket too.

The archery program at Cameron will have a new practice facility opening in the fall, along with the school’s new high school and sports arena.

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