Six select members of the Alfred State Archery team recently traveled to Columbus, OH, to compete in the USA Archery National Outdoor Collegiate Championships. The archers selected to represent Alfred State College were the top three members of both the men’s compound and men’s hunter teams based on their performance at last month’s eastern regional championships in Virginia.
The large national championship event hosted over 500 archers from across the nation and was contested over five days at the Darree Sports Complex in the greater Columbus area. Compound archers compete at a distance of 50m and shoot double 72-arrow qualifying rounds (144 total) over two days for placement in seeded head-to-head elimination brackets in both three-member team and individual brackets.
The three-archer men’s compound team of Nathan Summerville, mechanical engineering technology, Fulton; Jacob Houseknecht, culinary arts, Candor; and Joshua Harp, surveying and geomatics engineering technology, Farmington, competed to a fifth-place team finish in the men’s compound division during Saturday’s team elimination rounds. After eliminating Dine College, the Pioneers lost a close match to Texas A&M.
During Sunday’s pressure-packed individual elimination matches, Houseknecht stormed through four matches before dropping a quarterfinal match, ultimately netting an impressive eighth-place finish.
The three-member men’s hunter team from Alfred State consisted of Robert “Jay” Lawrence, surveying and geomatics engineering technology, Fort Ann; Jacob Pollock, mechanical engineering technology, Franklinville; and Jacob Patanella, mechanical engineering technology, Churchville-Chili.
Coach Greg Sammons (USA Archery Level 3-NTS) noted the strong performances at the team’s first appearance at the national event. He added that the team faced some adversity not just from the national stage and pressure-packed situations, but wild weather as well.
“While the temperatures were warm and summer-like, the archers competed in some unusually high winds with occasional gusts of over 40 miles per hour that forced them out of any comfort zone,” Sammons said. “Instead of solely focusing on executing clean shots, the competitors had to consciously calculate a noticeable wind drift and mitigate body-moving winds that disrupted normal aiming conditions.”
The Alfred State Archery Team is a member of the growing USA Archery Collegiate Archery program. The program currently has over 100 college and university programs and more than 1,300 member archers. Following the summer academic break, the Alfred State Archery Team will begin the new season with the return of the 3-D archery season in August.