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updated: 3/13/2014 8:51 AM

Archery tournament to draw 873 Illinois students

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Associated Press

More than 800 Illinois students have qualified to compete in a state archery tournament this month in Springfield, an example of the growing popularity of the sport in schools.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is hosting the tournament March 22 at the state fairgrounds. Top finishers will advance to a national tournament in May in Louisville, Ky.

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The 873 competing archers come from 32 schools. That's more than double the student participation two years ago.

The tournament is part of the National Archery in the Schools Program. Last year's state champions were Schlarman Academy High School in Danville, Georgetown-Ridge Farm Junior High School in Georgetown and Jefferson Elementary School in Charleston.

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