It’s been a successful stretch for Gage Malenfant in archery this year.
After winning a silver medal for the first time on February 26 at the 3D shooting provincials in North Battleford, he added onto that with two bronze medals last weekend at the 2022 Junior Olympic Program and target provincials in Prince Albert.
“I was really happy,” Malenfant said. “I won my first three medals this year so it’s been really good for me.”
Malenfant, 13, is in his fourth year of archery, and competes with the Timberland Bowbenders Archery Club. He said he really got comfortable with the sport in his second year after he started to get the hang of handling a bow and arrow. His father, Marc, says Gage stood out from the rest of the kids who were picking archery up for the first time.
“When Gage came around and started, he really excelled a little more and a little earlier than the rest,” he said. “He loves it, and he’s good at it. We’re a pretty big hunting family as well, so that translates into archery too, where we can get out with a bow and do some hunting as well. ”
In his first event on Saturday, Malenfant competed in the Junior Olympic Program (JOP), where he was matched up with competitors in his badge range. In the 260-270 range, he competed against some kids that were 17-years-old.
With the highest possible range achieve being 300 (10 rounds, three bows per round; possibility of 30 points per round), he found himself in a position where you would seldom find a 13-year-old kid, competing against archers four years older than him. He explained what he does to get prepared for his competitions.
“I normally practice twice a week at a range. I’ve been working pretty hard this year and it’s starting to pay off, ”he said. “I think just getting more practice as I get older will give me a chance to win some gold medals.”
On Sunday, Malenfant competed in the traditional provincial event. Competing in the 12-14-year-old age group, he won his second bronze medal in as many days. Marc says he thinks the support Gage received over the weekend helped him feel more confident heading into his events.
“He had both of his brothers (Owen and Sam) and his sister (Sasha) in attendance, and his grandparents were there watching too,” he said. “It’s been something that we’ve done as a family. We definitely support him a ton and urge him to keep pursuing what he loves to do.
“We have a great club in Prince Albert. They’re great people and great coaches that are involved. Without them and all the hard work they do with all of these kids, we wouldn’t have anything. I think the efforts show with the results that were put together over the weekend. We had a lot of kids and adults medal this weekend, and it was really good. ”
Next up is the outdoor provincial 3D championship this summer. A date and location have yet to be determined.
Full Timberland Bowbenders Archery Club results
Tristan Moran: senior male compound unlimited, gold and provincial record.
Tayen Thorsen: male male recurve gold.
Hannah Siwak: senior female compound gold.
Brett Enns: master 60 male compound gold.
Aubree Smith: peewee female compound silver.
Kamryn Dumais: cadet female compound silver.
Brooklyn Mahlberg: peewee female compound bronze.
Lawcen Horne: junior male compound bronze.
Gage Malenfant: cub male compound bronze.
@ kyle_kosowan • sports @ paherald.sk.ca