Springfield youth archer chases worldwide dreams

Like most kids, Hayden Catron has her passions.

Passions that have been passed down from her grandfather.

“That’s rewarding to me to see her and my other grandkids,” said Hayden’s grandpa, Jim Shirato.

It’s not on a basketball court or a soccer field where Hayden feels most at home.

Instead, it’s at the archery range with her bow in hand.

All thanks to grandpa.

“When I was little, he started hunting and he killed a black bear with his bow,” Hayden said.

That kick-started Hayden’s love for the sport.

At age five, she learned how to shoot.

Now at age 11, Hayden’s earned a pile of medals from several shooting leagues, including at the national level.

“She’s shooting better than I ever shot,” Jim said.

“It’s fun competing against people, and the way I can meet new people,” Hayden said.

She can meet new people and beat new people.

Among Hayden’s accomplishments are two USA Archery silver medals

“I really want to go back and get some gold, very badly,” Hayden said.

Her collection also includes last year’s Show Me State Games gold medal.

Perhaps the only thing better than winning the medals, is Hayden’s family getting to watch her success.

For her grandpa, that’s what makes him smile.

“Well she only placed second in the United States, that’s the only the one she didn’t place first in,” Jim said. “I [still] think that’s pretty good.”

Hayden, who trains at the Springfield Archery Complex, has visions that expand far beyond Greene County.

“I dream of going to the Olympics, and being able to beat everyone,” Hayden said.

Those hopes of reaching the global stage are matched only by her family’s encouragement.

“What she’s thinking is that she can get to the Olympics, and I’m sure she will,” Jim said.

With the way she’s going, grandpa Jim might just be right, and that pile of medals might just keep growing.

Hayden says she’s hoping Springfield Catholic Schools will soon add archery to their sports curriculum.

Right now, Hayden shoots a compound bow without sights. She will soon transition to shooting a recurve bow, which is the regulation style bow for the Olympics.

She will compete in three more tournaments next month.

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