SARALAND, Ala. (WKRG) — Saraland middle school student Easton Cook won a national archery championship at the Eastern National Bullseye Tournament in Louisville, KY. this past weekend.
Cook finished first out of 895 seventh grade boys and first out of 2,767 middle school boys. He was seventh overall for the tournament which included 7,387 elementary, middle and high school boys.
At the tournament, Cook scored a 295 out of a possible 300 points. He shot 26 tens, 3 nines and 1 eight. He shot four 50’s during the tournament.
Cook told WKRG he surprised himself with his performance.
“It was really crazy because I honestly thought I didn’t have it in me,” said Cook. “And then as soon as I shot it, I didn’t really think about what I did. And then when I realized what shot, I thought it was an amazing thing for me to do.”
You don’t have to look far to see where Cook gets his championship mentality. His mom, Allison Sellers-Cook, is the head softball coach at the University of Mobile. Sellers-Cook has led the Rams to three NAIA world series, including a national runner-up finish last season.
Cook says his mom has played a big role in his archery success.
“It definitely gives me more of a competitive edge to the sport, and I feel like it really makes me like be a better person to play.”
Several coaches and mentors have had a hand in Cook’s archery career. Jarod Pierce is the head coach of the Saraland Middle School Archery team. Brandon Vernon has been working with Cook in private lessons. Larry Onderdonk started Cook’s archery career in third grade and coached him for two years. While, Josh Clarke has also put many hours in with the seventh grader.
Cook finished first in the middle school division in the state of Alabama last year as a sixth grader and fifth in the state during this year’s competition.
Cook will compete in the World Championship at Myrtle Beach, SC in June.