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Van Nuys | Valley Focus

Archery Tournament Lines Up Toys for Tots

December 13, 1997|TOM BECKER

A few years ago, a promising kid took the field of the archery course in Woodley Park and delighted the crowd with pinpoint precision, drilling arrow after arrow in and around the colorful target's bull's eye.

Last year, that marksman, Justin Huish, did the same thing at a slightly larger venue in Atlanta at the Summer Olympics and captured a gold medal.

On Sunday, about 40 junior high and high school-age athletes trying to become the next Huish will fire away at the Junior Olympic Archery Development Assn.'s annual Toys for Tots Tournament. The event starts at 9 a.m. at the archery venue in Woodley Park, corner of Woodley Avenue and Burbank Boulevard.

"The talent level is great," said Tracy Locker, an Olympic coach and director of the archery association. "A lot of these kids will go to the Olympics one day."

But first to Woodley Park. The association has sponsored the event for 15 years. Entrants donate one unwrapped toy of at least a $10 value to participate in the games, which include firing at targets 40, 50 and 60 meters away. Adults will compete in their own competition.

In the past, the tournament has been a place to get experience against top contenders and meet legendary coaches, according to organizers. This year will be no different as 14-year-old Colin Foster, winner of a recent national tournament in Michigan, will compete.

Olympic coach Don Rabska will also attend. Rabska is considered by many in the field to be the top authority in the biomechanics of archery, Locker said.

"It's a real cool time for anyone interested in archery," said Locker. However, the archery shoot is not limited to enthusiasts. Locker said each year, several people who know little about the sport attend the games, some of whom even donate toys.

"It's a day to watch some great competition and help a good cause," said Locker.

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