Washington County 5th-grader sets sights on world archery meet

  • Updated: May 31, 2014 - 2:00 PM

Fifth-grader Mitch Munion, of Mahtomedi, won the NASP Nationals, besting his 1,573 fourth- and fifth-grade competitors.

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When it comes to mastering archery, Mitch Munion is right on the mark.

The Mahtomedi fifth-grader won first place at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Nationals in Louisville, Ky., topping a field of 1,573 fourth- and fifth-graders. Competition included archers in fourth through 12th grade from 39 states.

Munion, a student at O.H. Anderson Elementary in Mahtomedi, also took fourth place in the 3-D challenge in which animal-like foam targets are used. Team head coach Becky Lassila said Munion is in his second year on the archery team. He recorded his personal best score at nationals.

“He works hard every time he’s at practice,” Lassila said. “He’s very focused. He loves what he’s doing, which helps immensely.”

Munion and fellow Mahtomedi archers practice with students from White Bear Lake. Local interest in archery has garnered support from administrators and physical education teachers, who recognize it as a sport and have been working archery into class curriculum, Lassila said.

For students, archery builds self-esteem and confidence, she said.

“Whether they realize it or not, it’s the focus and the discipline that goes into it,” she said. “When they’re getting into it, they’re really focused and they’re really on, and I think that’s a good feeling that they get.”

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Archery in the Schools program is part of the NASP and aims to train teachers and provide students with the best equipment, training and curriculum available for the lowest price.

In all, 192,000 teacher-reported students in Minnesota participate in archery in the schools programs, said Kraig Kiger, DNR shooting sports education specialist. “Schools can receive DNR grant money for archery programs,” he said. “We want to help as many students learn to be archers as possible.”

Next up for Munion is the NASP World Tournament July 11-13 in Madison Wis., where he will face competitors from Canada, Africa and the United Kingdom.


Author to discuss book on pioneer

Author Bruce Kohn will discuss his latest project, “Dakota Child, Governor’s Daughter” at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 8, at the Warden’s House Museum, 602 N. Main St.

Kohn’s newest book follows the story of Helen Hastings Sibley, the first child of Minnesota’s first governor, Henry Hastings Sibley. With a fledgling politician father and a Dakota mother, young Helen was a girl caught between two worlds and cultures.

Utilizing knowledge acquired from 20 years of research on the topic, Kohn will detail the life and times of this young woman in a free presentation. Copies of “Dakota Child, Governor’s Daughter” will also be available for sale.

For information, contact Sean Pallas at spallas.wchs@gmail.com or 651-439-5956.

Local author hosts crafts demonstration

Spike Carlsen, author of four books including “The Backyard Homestead Book of Building Projects,” will hold a crafts demonstration Sunday, June 8 at 1 p.m. at Valley Bookseller, 217 N. Main St.

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