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INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) — Loading his bow, national archery champion Drew Crump stood in St. John's Elementary School gym, focused on his target. One after another, arrows flew across the court, landing in the bull's eye.

An eighth-grader at St. John's in Independence, Crump became a champion at the National Archery in the School's Program, Eastern National Tournament in Kentucky in May.

His success qualified him for the NASP Championship world tournament in Nashville on July 25-27.

Troy Bolton, Crump's coach, said he doesn't stop shooting when practice ends.

"Coaching Drew is pretty easy," Bolton told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. "He's the kid that's got the drive."

Crump's late great-uncle Larry passed down his love for archery to Crump at the age of four. A picture of his uncle sits inside his bow case, and Crump has dedicated this year to him in his memory.

Before nationals, Crump progressed to state after shooting in several competitions in Oelwein, Mount Vernon, Jesup and Independence.

"There's a whole bunch of tournaments you go to (in order) to qualify for state," Crump said.

Once he achieved state, Crump became the all-state champ for shooting bull's-eyes and 3D, which is a foam target of a life-size animal. He also had the highest scores on the all-state team.

As Crump prepared for the competition in Kentucky, nerves didn't factor into his performance. He recalled his excitement after shooting a 295 in 3D and a 298 in bull's-eye.

His school team, St. John's Eagle's Archery, practices in the gym after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays for about an hour. Crump said the whole team stands in a line facing the targets as Bolton blows a whistle, signaling them to shoot.

Bolton, who has coached at St. John's for five years, said Crump sometimes spends several nights a week shooting at the indoor Wapsi Bowhunters range.

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"That's the cool thing about Drew," Bolton said, "he practices on his own."

To prepare for the Nashville competition, Crump is taking a few weeks off as he's focusing his attention on trap shooting at Don Bosco.

The top 100 archers of each division — divided into male and female from elementary, middle and high school — from different countries will head to Nashville, where Crump will compete in both bull's-eye and 3D. Reagan Reeg, a fifth-grader from St. John's also will go to the competition.

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Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com

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