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Third-grader is right on target

It all started innocently for Ansleigh Wilk.

She wanted to do one simple thing with her father, Geoffery, when she was 6 years old -- go with him to a competitive bow-shooting tournament at Fort Gordon.

"I begged my dad to let me go and shoot in my first tournament," Ansleigh said during an interview at the home of her parents, Geoffery and Raya Wilk, near Thomson last Saturday.

Her father granted her wish. His daughter not only competed in that tournament, but came out one of the winners.

"She's been hooked ever since," he said.

Ansleigh is now 9 and has been competing in outdoor and indoor bow-shooting tournaments for the last three years.

Field archery seems to come natural for Ansleigh, a third grader at Briarwood Academy, who is as smart in the classroom as she is when competing in bow shooting tournaments. She is an A Honor Roll student.

"Her poise is what I'm so impressed about," said Wilk, a safety director at a meat processing company in Augusta. "She concentrates so well and she simply loves competing against others -- some of whom are much older. She's also got excellent eye-hand coordination."

The latter attributes are the ones that are keys to her success -- both now and in the future.

"She's very talented, and I'm not just saying that because she's my daughter," said Wilk, who is an outstanding tournament bow shooter and champion in his own right.

Wilk said he tries to provide his daughter with the best equipment that he and his wife can afford.

Another big key to her success is practice. It's something she does a lot.

"I want to keep getting better and winning more tournaments," said Ansleigh, who receives valuable coaching lessons from Jim and Michelle Pruitt, of Harlem. Jim is a recognized U.S. Level 4 coach.

"She's really learning a lot of things from the Pruitts," said Wilk, who serves as a state director of bow hunting in Georgia.

Because Ansleigh is double-jointed like her mother, the Pruitts are working with her on her form.

"They're teaching me about the importance of not moving my head when I shoot," said Ansleigh.

Ansleigh said its fun when she can outshoot boys in competition.

"I like beating boys," said Ansleigh. "That's a lot of fun. They give me high-fives when I beat them sometimes."

During the past three years, Ansleigh's success has grown to include many national and state champion honors.

Her dad is quick to point out that his only child is just getting started.

"She's already accomplished so much in just a relatively short period of time," explained Wilk. "I can't imagine what she might accomplish over the next several years."

Wilk wants his daughter to continue loving the sport and winning tournaments.

"That's what she really enjoys doing," said Wilk, who has even built a small indoor range for Ansleigh in the basement of their home in the Brentwood Subdivision.

As she continues to get better and establishes even more name recognition, Ansleigh says nothing would please any more than to break "a lot more records" in the sport of indoor and outdoor archery tournaments.



2008 GBAA 17 and under Female Shooter of the Year

2008 GBAA 3D Spring Turkey State Champion

2008GBAA State Field Champion

2008 GBAA State 3D Champion

2008 Fort Gordon Winter 3D -- 1st Place

2008 Fort Gordon Spring 3D -- 1st Place

2009 Fort Gordon Winter 3D -- 1st Place

2009 Fort Gordon Spring 3D -- 1st Place

2009 GBAA State Indoor Champion

2009 NFAA Southeastern Indoor Sectional -- 2nd Place

2009 GBAA 3D Spring Turkey State Champion

2009 GBAA State Target Champion (International Round, new state record)

2009 GBAA State Field Champion

2009 GBAA State 3D Champion

2009 GBAA 17 and Under Female Shooter of the Year

2010 Fort Gordon Spring 3D -- 1st Place

2010GBAA State Indoor Champion (new state record)

2010 NFAA Southeastern Indoor Sectional Champion (setting a new single day and two day record for NFAA Southeastern Sectional record)

GAA/U.S.A. Archery

2009 JOAD Indoor State Champion

2009 Evans County Indoor Invitational Champion

2009 JOAD Outdoor State Champion

2009 JOAD Georgia Open Olympic Round Silver Medalist

2009 GAA State Outdoor Target Champion

2010 JOAD Indoor State Champion

2010 Evans County Indoor Invitational Champion

2010 USAA JOAD Indoor National Southern Sectional Champion

2010 USAA JOAD Indoor National Championship Silver Medalist


2009 Georgia PRO/AM -- 4th Place

2009 Lake Oconee ASA State Qualifier -- 1st Place

2009 12-point Archery ASA State Qualifier -- 1st Place

2009 ASA Georgia State Champion

2009 ASA Classic PRO/AM Championship -- 3rd Place

Georgia Games

2009 Target 900 Round Gold Medalist

2009 3D Gold Medalist

Web posted on Thursday, March 25, 2010

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