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Penn College Archers Aim to Continue Success

Texas A&M, James Madison, Texas, Michigan State. Big-name schools with big-name athletic programs. And when you talk about the “heavyweights” in collegiate archery, you can add Pennsylvania College of Technology.

“Penn College has a great program,” assessed Coach Chad Karstetter. “Just being in the area of Pennsylvania that we are, we seem to have the potential already here. Kids start out hunting at 12 years old and get some kind of an idea of archery then. Just the East Coast in general is really big in archery with 3-D archery and target archery and then there’s the Northeast in hunting,” the fourth-year coach continued.

Just how good has the Penn College program been in recent years? Good enough to produce 13 All-American archers and finish among the top four in the nation the last two years the Wildcats were third in 2003, their best finish ever, after placing fourth in 2002.

This year, the success should continue.

“I look for the team to do as good as last year. If nothing goes wrong, I look for a third-place finish. If the male compound and male recurve teams get their scores a little higher, maybe we could give JMU (James Madison) a run for its money,” said Karstetter, whose team opens its season Saturday at the Pennsylvania Indoor Championships in Taylor.

For the second straight year, Penn College will field archers in three divisions. In addition to male compound and male recurve is a female compound squad. And there’s an outside chance that, before the season ends, a women’s recurve squad could be added.

The difference between compound and recurve, Karstetter pointed out, is that a compound bow has a wheel, or cam, at the top and bottom of the bow to assist in drawing back a high-tension string. The string on a recurve bow connects directly to the limb, with no pulley system.

Competing in male compound will be junior Ryan Romberger (Upper Dauphin), sophomores John Mattivi (Southern Columbia), Dustin Yocum (Morgantown) and Steve Liehr (Oakford), and freshmen Jonas Glick (Lewistown), Ryan Benny (Burnham) and Nate Potteiger (Middletown). Romberger earned All-America status last year.

“The three freshmen have all had previous experience in shooting competitive archery and I look forward to them doing well this year. With Ryan and John, who both went to last year’s nationals, I look forward to them showing the freshmen the ropes when we get outside,” the coach said.

Karstetter said that Romberger also is on track for another great season.

“He’s at least as good as he was last year, if not a tad better. Shooting all summer, he’s matured. Last year he went from not being in the All-America class to just jumping into it. He returns with a lot more knowledge this year,” Karstetter said.

Shooting on the male recurve team will be sophomores Rob Mcintosh (Lockport, N.Y.) and T.J. Sico (Andover, Mass) and freshman Chris Adams (Pen Argyl). Adams only recently was switched to recurve from compound, but Karstetter predicts that, after a couple of months, he should be doing well.

On the women’s compound team are sophomores Beth Robinson (Williamsport), Karen Morse (Canton) and Leslie Weaver (New Columbia) and freshmen Sarah Wilson (Tyrone) and Michelle Wright (Kendell, N.Y.).

“I see this group of ladies doing very well this year. Karen has come back this year a totally different shooter. She worked on her skills and is really shooting well this year and moved up,” Karstetter said. The coach also said he expects a big contribution from newcomer Wright, who has been training under a private coach for several years.

The Wildcats have three indoor meets before going outdoors. Differences in the two besides the obvious are that indoor archers shoot 120 arrows at targets 20 yards away, while outdoors, they shoot 144 arrows from distances of 33, 55, 77 and 99 yards.

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