Three Yukon archers are released to compete in El Salvador


Shiori Monzo, Emmett Kapaniuk and Delia Therriault were called up to the Canadian national team

Yukon archers have had no shortage of hits so far this competitive season, but the sport has three in particular on the rise.

Shiori Monzo, Delia Therriault and Emmett Kapaniuk have been selected for the Canadian national team heading to an event in El Salvador next month. The competition pits Yukoners and other Canadian archers against competitors from across North, South and Central America.

There was a final bout of winter on April 14, but with international competition looming, Yukon archers had no time to slow down training. They set up an indoor home-brewing training area in an industrial workshop used by Therriault's father's company.

Emmett and Therriault, the compound archers, must launch their arrows down a narrow hallway toward the target in the open garage to simulate the distances they will travel in competition.

Warren Kapaniuk trains a team of young archers through the Yukon Aboriginal Sports Circle (YASC). He said Monzo, the sole recurve archer of the trio, shoots an average of 800 to 1,000 arrows a week in training, while the compound archers shoot about half as many.

When asked why she chose recurve over compound archery, Monzo replied that it wasn't really her choice as her mother signed her up for it. She noted that she didn't even know what a recurve bow was when she started, but was pleased to discover that it is the only style of bow used in Olympic competition.

Bows in both categories are equipped with adjustable sights and weighted stabilizers. The main difference between the two is the cams at the end of each bow shank, which allow the archer to draw a heavier draw weight and hold the bow at full draw for longer.

All three archers have already completed international competitions. Emmett traveled to Halifax for the Pan Am competition in 2022 and also represented Canada at a world championships in Ireland last year. Monzo and Therriault competed in a world archery championship for high school students in Brazil last year.

The event in El Salvador they will be competing in is the Youth and Masters Pan Am Championships. It will take place from May 6th to 12th in San Salvador, the country's capital.

To make the Canadian national team, which travels to the Central American country in May, Therriault, Monzo and Emmett had to compete in a training camp against archers from across Canada. Coach Warren said since the event was held in Brampton, Ont., the Yukon archers probably had the furthest travel ahead of anyone competing for a spot on the team.

“I am excited to officially represent Canada. Because when we went to Brazil it was like our own group had gone down,” Monzo said of the competition in May.

Having already assessed the competition from around the hemisphere at his last Pan Am appearance, Emmett said that the United States, with its abundance of archery training facilities, competitions and funding, is doing well as expected. He also noted that the Mexican team was by far the best in his last Pan Am competition there.

“It's a stroke of luck, sometimes it's the countries that maybe don't have the same training facilities as us and so on, but they all perform at the highest level, otherwise they just wouldn't be there,” he added.

“I’m thrilled to be representing the country again for the third time, especially now that I’m in this new age category and being included in the team. The first year is really cool. And then I think it's just that I've got a few years of experience and stuff, so I'm hoping I can get down there and put in one of my best performances for sure.”

Coach Warren oversaw an outstanding archery season for the YASC and Team Yukon teams. The team won a number of medals in the spring, including a first place finish for Monzo at national indoor championships. It did not compete in the Arctic Winter Games because competition there is reserved exclusively for compound bows and bare bows, which are recurve bows with no equipment mounted.

However, Therriualt was part of the Yukon team in the Arctic, where she won a gold medal; It was her second appearance at the Arctic Winter Games and she attributes her improved performance to significantly less nervousness.

The mental aspect of archery is very important in any case. The archers go to a special mental coach who Warren says can do much more for them than he can in that part of the sport. “You see it in every archer that goes. This is a big advantage and makes everything look easier for them. There is no panic or stress, or they can use the stress that exists to perform at higher levels,” the coach said.

Warren said archery in the Yukon saw a big boost in late 2017 and early 2018 when former national team recurve archer Hugh MacDonald helped make the transition from recreational to competitive very quickly. He said Emmett was the last of the original four young archers with whom they developed the program.

Warren said the results of the hard work and high-level support speak for themselves as the Yukon archers have not gone without a medal at any national competition they have competed in for years.

Contact Jim Elliot at [email protected]

Shiori Monzo, Emmett Kapaniuk and Delia Therriault pull arrows from a target to return for another round of training on April 14. (Jim Elliot/Yukon News)
Delia Therriault draws her bow for a shot during an archery practice April 14. (Jim Elliot/Yukon News)