ZANEIS — Standing in a perfectly linear formation, students in the Zaneis archery building took aim at several 3D animal targets at the other end of the red building.

In a month, the same students will be taking aim at even bigger game—competition at the World Finals.

The Zaneis archery team — a collection of 11 to 15 year olds who can handle a bow — earned place to compete at the National Archery in the Schools Program World Finals next month after a successful showing at National competition in May in Louisville, Kentucky. The team had two qualify for individual events at the World level while the team qualified for the World 3D Challenge. The World Finals are being conducted July 21- 22 in Orlando, Florida.

“It was a really big accomplishment to do that,” Angela Aycox, Zaneis Archery coach, said of the qualifications. “They’re practicing and just working.

“They usually set goals for themselves and work toward them.”

While Zaneis students have qualified for individual events at the Worlds tournament before, this is the first time the team has qualified for the highest tier of archery competition. The team will represent both Zaneis and Oklahoma at the competition, where more than 5,000 individuals will compete.

“It’s exciting I’ll tell you that,” Devin O’Brian, a soon-to-be Zaneis seventh grader, said of qualifying. “We’ll get to go to Worlds and go to Florida, which is something we don’t get very often.”

“It’s taken three years of many, many blisters,” Braydan Miller, a member of the archery team, said. “It’s taken a lot.”

Archery competition has two primary categories: Bullseye targets and 3D targets. Aycox said the Bullseye division is more common, particularly in Oklahoma, and the 3D division is still a relatively new concept. In the Bullseye competition, students take aim from 10 meters and 15 meters and attempt to shoot an 80 centimeter round target. With 3D targets, students shoot from several different tiers of distances, ranging from 10 to 15 meters. The students shoot at targets from a variety of distances and the targets are usually modeled after animals.

“We’ve been practicing,” Aycox said. “Our school bought us 3D targets, which I think we’re probably the only school in Oklahoma that does the 3D as a team.

“Oklahoma hasn’t gotten into it as much as other states. I’m hoping other schools will start getting into this because it’s more true to life.”

Seven students will compete at the World level next month and Aycox said she believes the team will find great success. The team is raising money for the trip through several different avenues. The archers are selling raffle tickets for a Benelli 12 gauge shot gun or a $500 gift card from Jerry’s Gun Shop, which was donated by the store. A bake sale and silent auction will also be conducted to raise funds and items such as free hotel stays, restaurant offers and other items will be available.

All of the funds raised will go toward covering the cost of the trip, which will cost an estimated $14,000 for travel and motel expenses.

The tickets, which are $10 each or six for $50, can be purchases by contacting Angela Aycox at (580) 229-5615, contacting the school at (580) 668-2955 or by contacting Cheryl Witte at (580) 222-3374.

Miler said the team has become close while competing, often sitting together on the bus and helping each other toward improving their skills. The students said they are excited to have reached the highest level of competition together.

“I’m not so excited for the shoot as I am for the team bonding through the experience going there,” Miller said.