Meijer State Games of Michigan Athlete Spotlight:

Jordan & Mark Benadum, Archery 

by: Kenneth DeGraaf

Mark Benadum and Jordan Benadum are a sharp shooting father and son combo. Both of them are current archers, and will be competing in their first ever Summer Games this June. Unlike most stories, however, the son (Jordan) was the person that started the family tradition. At 9 years old, Jordan mentioned trying archery to his mother, Cindy Sheth. The sudden interest in archery caused Cindy to find Diane Johnston, who would soon become Jordan’s first archery coach. After Jordan became involved in the sport, the whole family tagged along.
To say the family duo has succeeded in their new sport would be an immense understatement. While Mark has won a few local tournaments in Ohio, where he currently resides, Jordan has an impressive resume full of awards. Of his most impressive, Jordan has 21 career first place finishes. This includes the Ohio State Indoor JOAD Championship, the Ohio State Indoor Championship, the Ohio Double 900, and The Midwest Shootout. As if his performance in archery isn't impressive enough, Jordan has also been named on his schools honor roll every quarter from 6th – 9th grade, where he currently attends Saline High School. In November of 2014, Jordan was accepted onto the USAA Compound Junior Dream Team.
When asked about their interest in the State Games, the duo acknowledged that they are both continuously looking for an archery event to compete in. After competing in the Winter Games in February, the two were committed to trying out archery in the Summer Games. “We have many friends in the archery community and competing frequently allows us the chance to see our friends and enjoy archery together,” Mark explained.
In the limited time the two are not competing in archery, Jordan enjoys lacrosse as a secondary sport. Archery, however, is where his true passion lies. In the future, Jordan hopes to maintain his status on the Compound-Junior Dream Team, qualify for the USAT team, and compete on the collegiate level. Mark, on the other hand, simply enjoys spending time with his sons, Alec and Jordan, in addition to getting outside as much as possible.
One quote the father-son duo love to live by, reads, “Focus on your form, your bow, your arrows, and your target… the X’s will come in time.” This is a general quote many archers know, and the Bendaum’s rely on it for every day success. Mark explained, “From day one in archery, both of us were taught the sport is about the shooter, your equipment, your arrows, and your target. We cannot change what other archers are doing during an event.” 
As far as the State Games are concerned, the two see the archery competition as a chance to compete in the sport they love, while staying active and seeing friends they haven’t seen for awhile. With the Summer Games just over a month away, the two look forward to the atmosphere of the games while getting a chance to grow as archers and hone their skills.  
The Meijer State Games of Michigan is a multi-sport, Olympic-style event(s) that welcome athletes regardless of age or ability level. The Games embody the values of participation, sportsmanship and healthy living.
In August 2017, the Meijer State Games of Michigan will play host to the
2017 State Games of America.
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