BLOOMINGDALE, N.J. — Bloomingdale teen Emilie Simoni's classmates sometimes call her the next Katniss, referencing the "Hunger Games" character.
Simoni, 13, picked up archery as a hobby and recently started entering competitions.
"It's been a lot of fun," Simoni told Daily Voice. "I like how when I practice I just feel relaxed. I don't have to worry about anything else, just me and the target."
She trains at New Jersey School of Archery in Florham Park with coach Mikey Usherenko.
"It's very fun and helpful working with him," Simoni said of Usherenko. "He made me the archer I am today."
Simoni attends Walter T. Bergen School in Bloomingdale. Her archery helped her make plenty of new friends including Sanajna and Esha, she said.
The teen archer uses a pink theme with her equipment. She practices five times a week with her bow and arrows.
Simoni started shooting two years ago after trying it at Girl Scout camp.
She placed third at a Lancaster event and said competitions are a bit nerve-wracking, but she learned to calm herself down.
Her father Ed brings her to all the lessons and her mother AnnMarie said they're proud of their daughter's accomplishments.
"It's a nice sport," Ed Simoni said. "There's no trash talking. It teaches them discipline."
Simoni said she definitely wants to stick with archery and continue to make her mark in the sport.
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