Photo courtesy DiPaolo family Abby DiPaolo poses next to her target from the  from the 2013 State Indoor 5 Spot Tournament. The sideways arrow actually hit another arrow and pierced the vein of the arrow.

Photo courtesy DiPaolo family Abby DiPaolo poses next to her target from the from the 2013 State Indoor 5 Spot Tournament. The sideways arrow actually hit another arrow and pierced the vein of the arrow.

Kasilof archer hits her mark

At only 12 years old, Kasilof’s Abby DiPaolo has already compiled an impressive resume in the sport of archery.

Competing at the Alaska State Indoor Archery Tournament in late January and the Northwest Sectionals in early March, DiPaolo hit the bull’s-eye in both and brought home the gold in her division.

At the state tournament, DiPaolo scored 549 points out of a possible 600 over the course of two days, getting 276 the first day and 273 the second.

Points are tallied using a 5-4-3-2-1 system, with a perfect bull’s-eye shot gathering five points, and the outermost ring netting just one point, and DiPaolo’s scores were good enough to win.

“It’s definitely my best performance,” DiPaolo said. “Seeing the medals you get when you win, it makes me try harder.”

It only got better for DiPaolo at the Northwest Sectionals. The competition includes archers from Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, and she took the top prize among all others in the freestyle division. DiPaolo scored 274 and 283 over two days to total 557, her career best.

On the second day, DiPaolo hit the bull’s-eye on 43 out of the 60 targets using her Hoyt Ruckus bow. It gave her the title in the freestyle division, which is considered the upper echelon of the tournament hierarchy. She had to beat out five other girls — most from Outside states — to win.

“I had a bunch of classes where I practiced a lot more,” she said.

Last year, DiPaolo finished third out of eight contestants in the Cub Female Freestyle division, which is for archers 11 and under.

This year, she made the big step up to the Youth division, which is contested by archers ages 12 to 14, and also sees the targets pushed out to twice the distance — from 10 yards to 20 yards.

“It’s a big difference because the target gets a lot smaller,” DiPaolo said. “When you’re at 10 yards you can see, but you can barely see the target at 20 yards.”

DiPaolo said she recorded a single-day score of 292 from 10 yards out in 2013, but when the distance of the target is taken into consideration, the 283 she managed from 20 yards in the Northwest Sectionals was more impressive to her. Add in the fact that she was among the youngest in her age group, it made for a pretty impressive moment.

“It’s pretty cool to beat the older girls,” she said. “I think it’s a lot better. Last year was too easy for me with 10 yards. Twenty yards is a better challenge.”

Practice makes perfect. That’s the philosophy that Abby and her father, Lenny, adopted over the last year. The family made use of the shooting range at Wilderness Way in Soldotna to practice as much as possible, and even had a place at home to hone their skills.

“She could take it as far as she wants,” Lenny said about his daughter’s success. “Right now we’re just having fun with it.”

Because of the nature of the competition, in which contestants send in their two-day results from different locations around the state, it is not immediately clear who won and where everyone else placed.

The results from the state tournament took over two weeks to show up, according to Lenny DiPaolo. But when they finally did come through, the reaction was instant excitement.

“I thought it was really cool because I didn’t actually think I was going to place first,” Abby said. “It took so long to come in, and I came home one day and my dad told me I won, and I was like, really?”

Abby, who put in her performance at Black Sheep Archery Club in Anchorage, wasn’t the only DiPaolo to score high. Lenny competed in the adult bowhunter freestyle division and took sixth place out of 17 others in the state tournament, and was 12th out of 26 at the Northwest Sectionals.

It must run in the family.

“I guess the practice paid off for both of us,” Lenny said. “As far as concentration and shooting a good score, it all came together for her. The big part of it is nerves, and competing against herself.”

Joey Klecka can be reached at Joey.Klecka@apeninsulaclarion.com

Photo courtesy DiPaolo family Abby Dipaolo practices for a recent tournament at her home in Kasilof.

Photo courtesy DiPaolo family Abby Dipaolo practices for a recent tournament at her home in Kasilof.

More in Sports

River Bandits starting pitcher Breven Deckrosh delivers to the Post 20 Twins on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Ohio Legion squad brings top-flight competition to Kenai

Lance Coz would always say that if players had the talent and… Continue reading

tease
Local athletes sweep North Pole Triathlon

The central Kenai Peninsula swept the top spots at the North Pole… Continue reading

Post 20 Twins relief pitcher Atticus Gibson delivers to the Buffalo (Minnesota) Post 270 Cobras on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, during the Bill Miller/Lance Coz Wood Bat Invitational at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Twins, River Bandits go 2-0 at wood bat tourney

The American Legion Post 20 Twins and the Napoleon (Ohio) Post 300… Continue reading

tease
Strabel, Smith capture Kenai 250 endurance mountain biking event

The Kenai Peninsula put two riders in the top five of the… Continue reading

Christian Seager shows his 2022 Homer Spit Run, with the line "in memory of Gary Williams." Williams, a former Homer Mayor and a former owner of the Homer News, helped start the Spit Run. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Markelz wins Spit Run 10k

2022 Spit Run honors former Homer mayor, avid runner

Allie Ostrander, third from left, competes in the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials on Thursday, June 24, 2021, in Eugene, Oregon. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Ostrander finishes 16th at nationals

Allie Ostrander, a 2015 graduate of Kenai Central now living in Seattle,… Continue reading

tease
Central peninsula teams wins Kenai Invite fastpitch tourney

The AK Riptide, a team of players from Soldotna and Kenai, won… Continue reading

Oilers catcher Jerry Nix tags out Ali Camarillo of the Anchorage Glacier Pilots on Sunday, June 26, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Pilots finish 4-1 series against Oilers

The little things have added up to big things for the Anchorage… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Reeling ‘Em In: Kings acting ‘a bit schizoid’

It’s hard to tell what’s worse: thieving seals or *%$@#0# snaggers

Most Read