Skip to content

Three Yukon archers will be loosed on competition in El Salvador

Shiori Monzo, Emmett Kapaniuk and Delia Therriault have been selected to Canadian national team
Emmett Kapaniuk draws his bow during archery practice on April 14. (Jim Elliot/Yukon News)

There have been no shortage of bulls eyes for Yukon archers so far this competition season but for three of them especially, the sport is taking them places.

Shiori Monzo, Delia Therriault and Emmett Kapaniuk were selected for the Canadian national team going to an event in El Salvador next month. The competition will see the Yukoners and other Canadian archers up against competitors from all over North, South and Central America.

There was one last burst of winter weather on April 14 but with the international competition approaching there was no time to slow down on practices for the Yukon archers. They have a homebrew indoor practice range set up in an industrial shop used by Therriault’s dad’s company.

Emmett and Therriault, the compound-bow shooters, have to fling their arrows down a narrow hallway and out to the target in the open garage space to simulate the distances they will be shooting in competition.

Warren Kapaniuk coaches a team of young archers through the Yukon Aboriginal Sports Circle (YASC). He said Monzo, the lone recurve bow shooter of the trio, is averaging 800 to 1,000 arrows per week in training while the compound-bow archers are shooting about half as many.

Asked why she chose recurve over compound bow archery, Monzo replied that it wasn’t really her choice as her mom signed her up for it. She noted she didn’t even know what a recurve was when she first started off but was happy to find that it is the one style of bow used in Olympic competition.

Bows in both categories are fitted with adjustable sights and weighted stabilizers. The key difference between the two is the cams on the end of each limb of a compound bow which allows the archer to pull a heavier draw weight and hold the bow at full draw for longer.

All three archers have competed internationally before. Emmett went to Halifax for the Pan Am competition in 2022 and also represented Canada at a world championship in Ireland last year. Monzo and Therriault competed in a world high school archery championship in Brazil last year.

The El Salvador event they are going to is the Youth and Masters Pan Am Championships. It will be held in San Salvador, the country’s capital, from May 6-12.

To get onto the Canadian national team bound for the Central American country in May, Therriault, Monzo and Emmett had to compete against archers from across Canada in a training camp. Coach Warren said that as the event was held in Brampton, Ont., the Yukon archers probably had the longest journey to make of anyone vying for a spot on the team.

“I’m excited to be officially representing Canada. Because when we went down to Brazil, it was kind of just like our own group that went down,” Monzo said of the competition in May.

Having already sized up the competition from around the hemisphere at his last Pan Am appearance, Emmett said that the U.S., with its abundance of training facilities, competitions and funding for archery, does predictably well. He also noted that the Mexican team at his last Pan Am competition were the best there by far.

“It’s hit or miss that, sometimes it’s the countries that don’t have maybe the same training facilities as us and stuff, but they’re all performing at the highest level, or else they just wouldn’t be there,” he added.

“I’m stoked to be able to, again, represent the country for the third time, especially now that I’m in this new age category, to make the team. The first year is really cool. And then I think it’s also just, I’ve had a couple of years of experience and stuff, so I’m hoping to go down there and have one of my best performances for sure.”

Coach Warren has overseen a sterling season of archery by the YASC and Team Yukon teams. The team had a run of medal finishes through the spring including a first-place finish for Monzo in national indoor championships. She didn’t go to the Arctic Winter Games because competition there is reserved for compound bows and bare bows which are recurves without any equipment mounted to them.

Therriualt, however, was on the Yukon team at the Arctics where she pulled off a gold medal; it was her second Arctic Winter Games appearance, and she chalks up her improved performance to much less nerves.

By all accounts, the mental aspect of archery is very important. The archers go to a specific mental trainer who Warren says can do a lot more for them than he can on that element of the sport. “You see it in every archer that goes. It’s a huge benefit and everything looks easier for them. There isn’t that panic or stress level or they’re able to use the stress that there is to perform at a higher level,” the coach said.

Warren said archery in the Yukon got a major shot in the arm in late 2017 and early 2018 when former national-team recurve bowman Hugh MacDonald helped take things from recreational to competitive very quickly. He said Emmett is the last of the original four young archers that they developed the program with.

Warren said the results of the hard work and high-level assistance speak for themselves as Yukon archers haven’t gone without a medal at a national competition they attended in years.

Contact Jim Elliot at

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

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
Read more