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Louisiana Siblings Part Of Successful Archery Family

When you stand and talk with Miriam and Hardy Trafford, you know you’re in for a good time.

The siblings from Shreveport, Louisiana share stories. They take good-natured jabs at each other. They compliment each other. They finish each other’s sentences.

It’s clear, they enjoy what they do.

And they happen to be good at what they do: Archery.

Miriam, age 19, and Hardy, age 17, both shot in the U.S. National Field Championships in Yankton on Friday and Saturday, and both successfully advanced through Sunday’s U.S. team trials for the World Archery Field Championships.

They each finished in the top-3 of their division and will represent the U.S. at the Field Championships from Sept. 27-Oct. 2 in Dublin, Ireland. Thing is, it’s far from their first international action.

“How many world championships have you won?” Miriam asked her brother as they stood together Sunday afternoon.

“Ask dad. He would know,” Hardy replied.

“Yeah, he would. He knows more about us than we did,” Miriam joked.

For Hardy (who will be a senior in high school this fall) and Miriam (will be a sophomore at the Air Force Academy), they’re part of one of archery’s most successful families. Their father, Skip Trafford, was also shooting in Yankton over the weekend, and their mother – Charlene – and two older sisters – Rachael and Heather – also have an archery background.

And it’s a successful background for the ‘Trafford clan’ – as Miriam joked they’re typically called.

Since 2008, the family has been represented in the finals of every World Archery Field Championships. And all together, the family boasts 21 world championships.

“Our name is pretty well known, I guess,” Hardy said, with a shrug.

Their father, a decorated barebow shooter in his own right, was where things got started.

“He’s the reason we began shooting,” said Miriam, who started shooting a bow at age two.

For Hardy, in addition to watching his dad shoot arrows, he got to experience the sport while in the Boy Scouts.

“I remember thinking, ‘Archery’s kind of cool, let me try that,’” Hardy said.

Even during situations like this weekend when their father is himself competing in an event, he’s able to still work with his children to help them.

“He’s been very supportive,” Miriam said. “He’s been our coach as well. Whenever we were shooting and he wasn’t, he would help us.”

And it was the same with the two older siblings.

 “All of us used to shoot together,” Miriam said.

“In the backyard,” Hardy added. “Sometimes we’d shoot against each other and the loser had to do dishes.”

Each one, along with their father, had previously shot in Yankton two years ago during an International Field Archery Association tournament, and from what Miriam can remember about that event, the weather was cooperative – much like it was this weekend.

The terrain present a unique challenge, they both said.

“It was a little different than the courses we’re used to,” Miriam said.

“Everything’s pretty much flat, too,” Hardy added.

There’s a fairly good chance they’ll face similar terrain when they travel to Ireland in September for the World Archery Field Championships – by all accounts, that’s mostly farmland with some wooded areas.

But then there’s the reports of cool weather, with likely rain.

“The weather will be nice over there,” Miriam said.

“No, probably not,” her brother added, with a smile.

“Well, there’s always hope,” Miriam replied.

The top three archers in each of the divisions Sunday were selected for the U.S. team. Miriam qualified out of the Recurve Junior Women division, while Hardy qualified in the Recurve Junior Male division.

“We’re pretty excited,” Miriam said. “Maybe it’s luck.”

Or skill.

Miriam has made every United States team since the World Field Championships in 2008 – tournaments since were held in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and now 2016. She won a gold medal in 2014 over in Croatia.

“I wish I could say the same, but I didn’t make Croatia,” Hardy said, referring to the 2014 World Field Championships.

“Hardy was close, though,” his sister added.

Among the other archers to make the U.S. Team for Ireland were Brady Ellison and Jake Kaminski, both of whom are members of the three-man team for the Olympics later this summer in Rio de Janeiro.

Yankton’s Hannah Bartos narrowly missed out on qualifying as well. She was in a one-arrow shoot-off for third place in the Compound Juniors Female division, but came up a couple inches short of center – finishing fourth.

Originally published 6/3/16 in the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan by Jeremy Hoeck.