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She aims to stay on target

Danielle Herman likes to shoot the bull. But that doesn't mean she talks a lot.

In fact, Danielle lets her scores on the archery range do her talking. The 11-year-old Bayonet Point Middle School student, who has been in archery just nine months, set four age-group state records this month at the Florida Archery Association Outdoor Target championships in Wachula.

Danielle broke records in all three individual categories, including 568 out of a 600 series and 865 out of a 900 series and in all-around points.

"I had good coaching," Danielle said of coaches Diane Watson and Floyd Beckwith of the Aripeka Archers.

It was more than that, said Mike Herman, Danielle's father.

"She's just a natural," Herman said. "She has clean fresh eyes and great concentration. I can tell you she outshoots her dad every time. I can't compare with her."

Mike Herman has been with the Aripeka Archers for several years, and Danielle took up the sport just last year.

"It looked like fun, so I did it," she said. "I enjoy it because it's a challenge. I mean, shooting a gun seems easy. This seems like it takes more skill.

"But it's hard work," added Danielle, who practices every night before tournaments and at least twice a week the rest of the time. "You can't goof off."

Danielle also won the Junior Olympics state championship this summer and will compete in the Junior Olympics nationals in June.

"My goal is to win the nationals," Danielle said.

Mike Herman said her daughter may one day be in the Olympics.

"It's all up to her," he said. "College, the Olympics, who knows? She can do just about anything she wants."

Gymnastics: Three girls from the Suncoast Gymnastics Academy in Port Richey placed in their age groups at the USA Gymnastics meet Oct. 8 in Largo.

Heather Zolton, 8, of New Port Richey; and Amanda Evans, 10, and Rachel Miles, 9, both of Spring Hill, competed at Level 4, a beginning competitive division, in the highly competitive meet.

Zolton finished first in the vault with a score of 9.00, was fourth in the uneven bars (9.05) and fourth all-around (35.75). Evans was first in the uneven bars at 9.30 and the vault at 9.25. She was fourth overall with 36.25 points. Miles was fifth in the uneven bars at 8.95.

So far, 25 girls from Suncoast Gymnastics have qualified for the AAU state meet Dec. 17 in Orlando, coach Arnold Gwinn said. Gwinn praised his gymnasts.

"(Heather) is a very strong gymnast," Gwinn said. "She is able to muscle her way through a lot of the equipment. (Amanda) has natural strength and she is able to work the bars very well. She's able to come out on top most of the time.

"We're looking to sharpen our skills and get our girls pumped up for the state meet."

Special Olympics: The Pasco County Special Olympics Indoor Games take place this week at three locations.

On Monday, bowling takes place at Royal Lanes in Lutz. Tuesday, basketball, basketball skills and target bowling take place at Pine View Middle School in Land O'Lakes. And on Wednesday, gymnastics will be contested at Suncoast Gymnastic Academy.

For more information, call Judy Brunner at (813) 929-6402 or 782-5545.

Golf: VFW Post 8681 will hold its ninth annual golf tournament Nov. 5 at Quail Ridge golf course. Entry deadline is Oct. 27 and the fee is $30.

The entry fee includes greens fees, cart and buffet lunch and the tournament includes closest to the pin, longest drive and accuracy contests. There will be an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start.

For more information, call (813) 856-1860 or 856-1255.

_ Correspondent Steve Lee contributed to this report.

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