GENTRY -- Abigail Schopper, a junior at Gentry High School, shows improvement year by year and is a strong competitor with the potential for gold in the 2024 track season.
This year, she won the bronze medal in discus throw at the state 4A track meet in Clarksville on May 2, with a throw of 103 feet, 2 inches. She also took 13th in the shot put with a throw of 28 feet, 11 inches.
At the conference meet in Gravette on April 24, she threw the discus 105 feet, 4 inches, for a first-place finish. She also threw the shot and took second with a throw of 28 feet, 5 inches.
Her discus throw in the state competition qualified her to compete against women's discus throwers from all high schools across the state in the May 10 Meet of Champions, held at Russellville High School in Russellville. There, she finished in the 15th spot with a throw of 96 feet but was competing against the best of the best, including student-athletes from much larger high schools.
"I'm proud of Abby's dedication and drive," said Gentry track coach Shelby Ellison. "The Meet of Champions was a great experience, but I know she is not satisfied with her performance. I believe she will be driven to produce even better results next year. She has such a high ceiling."
Schopper transferred to the Gentry School District from Decatur in the fall of 2021 and plays volleyball -- a strong player at the net -- and is a leading track athlete for the Lady Pioneer track team.
She improves year by year. According to a May 2021 article in the Eagle Observer, as a Decatur student in the 2021 school year, she competed in the 2A-1 conference meet at Eureka Springs on April 26. The article states that "Abigail Schopper shows promise as she tackled both the shot put and discus for the first time this season. Schopper managed a fifth-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 25 feet, eight inches, and third in the discus with a throw of 77 feet, four inches.
Competing for Gentry last year, Schopper finished fourth in the district track meet at Harrison with a throw of 84 feet, 3 inches. She finished fifth in the shot put with a throw of 25 feet, 5.5 inches.