Letcher County fifth-grader shoots to first in nation for archery

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 6:11 PM EDT
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JENKINS, Ky. (WYMT) - When Kimber Collins started her archery journey two years ago, she did not dream she would soon hit the mark as number one elementary school archer in the nation.

“It’s awesome. I never expected to get this far in archery. It’s really cool and I still don’t believe it’s real,” said Collins. “Just the excitement of getting tens and the excitement of winning a tournament and winning nationals and doing all of it. It’s just so exciting.”

Collins said her focus and devotion have truly paid off, setting aside hours of practice and hundreds of shots every day, and she is happy to be leading the nation, representing her Jenkins Cavaliers. Collins was number one out of more than 1,500 elementary-aged archers who competed in the virtual National Archery in the Schools program. She also ranked 208 out of 7,307 participants from across the nation.

“It’s really fun. You’ve got to have the hard work and the dedication and everything like that but if you’re good at that, and you want to do it, you can do it,” said Collins.

Her school and community share in her excitement, celebrating her success and her quick grasp of the sport she has grown to love.

“She puts in the time after school, on the weekends, during the day when all of her assignments are done, and she’s just a phenomenal student. And a phenomenal athlete,” said archery coach Candy Fields.

Now, number one in the nation, she hopes to help others in the community get involved in archery.

“Like, I feel like there’s gonna be a lot more or three people here next year that wants to shoot archery and it also makes the school look really good and I didn’t want to do that,” said Collins.

According to Superintendent Damien Johnson, the win is a sign to the rest of the students in the school.

“This is a perfect example for us to show that just because you’re from a small school in a small town, that you can still do great things,” said Johnson.

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