Kylie Hayes, who just turned 12 and attends Trail Ridge Middle School, is the 2017 USAA Kansas State Indoor Archery Champion. Photos courtesy of Rick Poppitz

Rick Poppitz
Special to The Gardner News
Kylie Hayes, who attends Trail Ridge Middle School in Gardner, is the 2017 USAA Kansas State Indoor Archery Champion of the female Bowman Division.
The state tournament was held in Emporia on March 25-26. It included two days of competition where archers shot over 150 arrows in four rounds of competition.
At the state tournament, Hayes faced some tough competition. Two of her competitors had beaten her at other events over the past year.
“I just thought I would do my best and see what I got,” she said.
When asked how she felt when she won, Hayes said, “I was excited, I was happy and I was proud.”
She started learning the sport of archery in April 2016 through the local 4-H club. Her parents Wayne and Angela, and her little sister Brooklyn, have been behind her all the way.
“She’s never gotten into any other sports, so as soon as she showed interest in this, I jumped on it,” says Kylie’s dad, Wayne Hayes.
“I like archery because you don’t have to rely on other people and because it’s relaxing, and it’s quiet and it’s fun,” Hayes said.
She has won a lot of ribbons and trophies from the twenty-plus competitive events she has  participated in over the past year, and only a year after starting in archery, she’s won a state championship trophy.
Hayes participates in in three different leagues. She has a new archery coach, and she practices almost every day. Her coach has her shooting 700 to 800 arrows per week.
Her future goal, as she continues improving her skills, is to compete in national tournaments.