CCHS student headed to National Archery tournament

Published 10:34 am Friday, April 20, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Justin Liveoak, a senior at Chilton County High School, will compete in the National Archery in Schools Program tournament in May.

Liveoak placed second in the Alabama state-level competition in Montgomery. The top 10 archers at the state competition advance to nationals. Liveoak has competed at the national level multiple times in the past.

Liveoak said going into the competition he was nervous “because I knew I had a shot at winning.”

He shot a perfect score at 10 meters, then moved on to the 15 meters portion of the competition.

After he finished shooting, Liveoak did not think his score was high enough to take first place.

When the scores were tallied, Liveoak was tied with another student for first.

“In order to break a two-way tie, they have a shoot-off, ” archery coach Kelly Gaston said.

Liveoak had already left the tournament in order to get ready for prom and was back in Clanton when he found out he was tied for first and needed to come back to determine the first-place winner.

Thinking he could not make it in time, Liveoak continued with his plans for the evening. He was eating dinner in Prattville when Gaston called and said if he wanted to do the shoot-off, she would come get him. He had until 6:30 p.m. to get back to the competition or he would forfeit the opportunity to compete for first.

“I didn’t have my bow, and I had my tux on,” Liveoak said.

Gaston had a borrowed bow for Liveoak to use, so Liveoak decided to go for it.

Liveoak said he did “about as expected wearing a tie and not using my own bow.”

“I guess it was good for some people, but to win it was not,” Liveoak said. “I think if I would have had my bow, I probably would have won.”

“If he does well at Nationals, then he will go on to Worlds,” Gaston said.

Liveoak has competed at Worlds once before.

Gaston is hoping Liveoak will make it to this level again as well.

Those who do well at Nationals have the potential to be chosen for a Junior Olympic Development Team or a college scholarship for archery.

Liveoak is continuing to practice in preparation for the national competition in Louisville, Kentucky.

“I’m kind of excited because I always enjoy the trip up there,” Liveoak said. “Louisville is a nice place.”

He said he also enjoys seeing the large groups of archers shoot at the same time.