Atlantic City, N.J., is known for its sand, surf and casinos. But none of them will be on the minds of 12 Pennsylvania College of Technology archers later this week when they compete there in the National Archery Association National Collegiate Championships.
“After the Eastern Regionals (April 26-27), we saw some things that we needed to work on and since then we’ve done a lot of team rounds together,” coach Chad Karstetter said. “We got some new equipment, and now we’re definitely ready for the task. We’re ready for nationals.”
Representing Penn College will be Dan Wido (freshman/Shickshinny), Zach Plannick (freshman/Coraopolis), Brock Smith (junior/Brookville), Brad Ferguson (sophomore/Lewistown) and Aaron Lipinski (freshman/Scranton) in men’s compound; James Fanelli (sophomore/Glastonburg, Conn.), Tyler Gale (freshman/Kennedyville, Md.) and Martin Smith (junior/Brookville) in men’s recurve; Lindsey Fackler (junior/Halifax), Sarah Wilson (senior/Tyrone) and Sarah Pierson (freshman/Eldred) in women’s compound; and Rebecca Deist (freshman/Manheim) in women’s recurve.
“The men’s compound team has a very good chance of being in the top three, hopefully of being in the top two. Right now, James Madison University is ranked No. 1 and we beat them in three out of the four events we’ve gone to together. If we can compete with them, there’s not another college in the country that may be better than we are,” Karstetter said.
“The men’s recurve team has been shooting really well together outdoors and I expect them to be in the top couple, also. And if we can get all three women to shoot a good round, they will be right there, too,” the coach continued.
At the national event, practice and opening ceremonies are scheduled for Thursday. On Friday, long-distance shooting rounds (90 and 70 meters for men and 70 and 60 meters for women) will be held, along with the lottery team round. On Saturday, shorter distance shooting rounds (50 and 30 meters for both men and women) and official team rounds will be staged. Head-to-head Olympic knockout round competition will be held Sunday to decide individual placement.
Since 1997, 30 Penn College archers have earned all-American honors and Karstetter thinks that number will rise after nationals.
“I believe that Plannick, Wido, Fackler and Fanelli have the best chance of being All-Americans. Right now, Wido and Fanelli are in the top 10, so they just have to hold their own outdoors. If they place in the top 10, they should be All-Americans. Fackler and Fanelli have points they have to make up to get into the top 10,” Karstetter said.
“I’m looking forward to a really good meet. Being that the team is as good as it is, it is pretty exciting. I’m ready to get there and show them where Williamsport, Pa., is,” the coach added.