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Girl is a whizz at archery

August 15, 1997

By DON AINES

Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Sitting Bull called Annie Oakley "Little Sureshot" for her prowess with a rifle. Martinsburg has its own little sureshot, a 9-year-old who does her shooting with a bow and arrow.

Kaitlyn Price was the top scorer last weekend in the Future Bowhunters Division in the International Bowhunters Organization's 3-D Archery World Championships at the Peek'n Peak resort in Clymer, N.Y. Her score of 114 out of a possible 120 was the best in a field of 58 archers in the age 9-and-under category.

It used to be called the Pee Wee division, but Kaitlyn came up with the idea to rename it in a competition sponsored by the IBO last year.

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Her score at Peek'n Peak was the latest in a string of impressive performances by Kaitlyn, who moves up to Cub Class next year. She won the first leg of the IBO Triple Crown in Bedford, Ind., in May; took second in the second leg in Erie, Pa., in June; and earned another first place at the third leg in Nelsonville, Ohio, in July.

Kaitlyn also won the Pennsylvania and Maryland state IBO championships. Next month she'll go for the West Virginia state championship at Flatwoods.

Kaitlyn, a fourth-grader at Hedgesville Elementary School, won the IBO Indoor Scramble early this year, in which boys and girls from around the nation competed in their own states and sent the scores into IBO headquarters.

In the indoor scramble, the competitors shoot paper targets. In 3-D archery, they take aim at 10 life-size animal targets.

"We shot at a turkey, a deer, an antelope, a boar and bear" and other animals, she said.

The target distances vary from five to about 20 yards, said her father, Scott Price. The archers set up at a stake, judge the distance and then try and shoot within concentric rings with different point values.

In the world shoot she hit seven 12-pointers and three 10-pointers for the best score.

While the distances might not seem far, some of the marks are not much bigger than a silver dollar. They aren't marked off like a dart board, but are individual circles on the surface of the target.

Kaitlyn's been able to make the hgh scores even though she doesn't wear her glasses when she shoots.

"A few times a week, 15 or 20 minutes," is how Kaitlyn described her practice schedule. She and her father, also a competitive archer, practice on bear, turkey and deer targets in the backyard. Her mother Winni also shoots.

"We don't want to push her because she might lose interest," Scott Price said.

The Prices do make a family affair of archery, however, sometimes changing clothes at church before heading to a shoot.

Kaitlyn uses a compound bow with a sight made by Scott, a machinist. Moving up to the Cub Class for 10-to-12-year-olds next year will mean longer distances, and she may need to change to a bigger bow.

"That's going to be a lot tougher for her. Some 12-year-old boys are big," Scott Price remarked.

"That's OK, she'll work her way up again," said Winni.

Kaitlyn took up archery at the age of 4 and has been shooting competitively since she was 7. Her other interests include fishing, ballet and her church choir.

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