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Penn College Archers No. 2 in Nation

Pennsylvania College of Technology archers gather for a team photo after national competition at Texas A&M University. Standing, from left, are Clint Hinton, Danny Wido, Aaron Lapinski, Jarrod Chandler, Zack Plannick, Brad Ferguson, James Fanelli, Brock Smith, Tyler Gale and Glen Thomas. Sitting, from left, are Kjirsten Radencic, Hilary Fisher, Julie Cain and Lindsey Fackler. Despite shooting in difficult weather conditions on two of three days, the Pennsylvania College of Technology archery team excelled during the 43rd U.S. Intercollegiate Archery Championships at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, Friday through Sunday, with its highest finish ever second in the nation.

“It’s quite an achievement for the college and for us. We were within 130 points of being the national champion. You wouldn’t think you could get any closer, and, actually, 130 points is not that much,” Penn College coach Chad Karstetter said. “We did it without having a women’s recurve team and that’s probably all it would have taken to get over that last little hurdle.”

Host Texas A&M took top honors.

Two Wildcat archers Danny Wido, a sophomore from Shickshinny, and Glen Thomas, a sophomore from Mercer claimed individual national championships in the men’s compound and men’s recurve events, respectively, while leading Penn College to team championships in those events. In a first for the college, it had the top three finishers in men’s compound competition as Zack Plannick (junior/Corapolis) and Aaron Lapinski (junior/Bloomsburg) finished second and third, respectively, behind Wido.

Also, the Penn College women’s compound team of Lindsey Fackler (senior/Halifax), Julie Cain (sophomore/Bellefonte) and Kjirsten Radencic (freshman/Dushore) placed second, Radencic was named Rookie of the Year, Wido and Fackler were second in mixed compound and nine Wildcats earned All-American status. Wido, as the top men’s compound qualifier, also was named to the U.S. World Collegiate team that will compete in China in September.

“We had such a strong team all year long, actually the last two years, and my expectations were high because we’ve been doing so well. Then we got here and they exceeded my expectations. I couldn’t be more proud of the gang,” Karstetter said Sunday afternoon. “We definitely showed the South where the Northeast is.”

In capturing his second straight male compound national crown, Wido qualified first in a field of 53 with 1,017 points.

“He shot good all three days. He was in first place on the leaderboard the whole time,” Karstetter said.

Thomas qualified fourth in male recurve with 933 points and claimed his title with a two-point win over an archer from Arizona.

“Thomas had an off day the first day (Friday) and that kind of hurt him, but he came back on Saturday and had a great 36 arrows that moved him up,” the coach said. “Sunday he had a lot of tough rounds at the very end but shot good and did very well.”

Addressing the male compound team, Karstetter said: “Those three guys are something. Not only do they win the compound men’s team title, but to have all three of them fight all the way through the whole pack and end up the top three is pretty amazing.”

“(As a team) they went undefeated all year. It really didn’t seem to matter which three compound guys I put together, we always had a great outcome,” he continued. “They shot great together in the wind and the rain and the lightning and came out on top.”

According to Karstetter, a storm blew in Friday that forced some shooting rounds to be shortened and canceled mixed team rounds. The bad weather lasted into Saturday and didn’t clear until Sunday.

“The beginning of the tournament saw some of the windiest conditions we’ve ever seen (at nationals). We shot in the rain quite a few times this year so we had some experience in the wind and the rain “¦ and it paid off down here,” the coach said.

Commenting on Penn College’s male recurve team, Karstetter said, “They (Thomas, Tyler Gale [junior/Kennedyville, Md.] and Brock Smith [senior/Brookville]) shot awesome together again, just like they have all year. They were the No. 1 seed going into it and shot well all day long.”

Gale finished eighth individually in the men’s compound.

In the women’s compound team event, Penn College fell in the finale to Penn State University in a match that Karstetter said “could have gone either way. “¦ We had a couple of arrows that got away from us in the wind.”

Fackler placed sixth individually in the women’s compound.

Thomas, competing in both recurve and compound events, became the college’s first two-time All-American during the same season. Joining him this year were Gale, Smith, Fackler, Wido, Plannick, Lapinski and Brad Ferguson (senior/Lewistown). Since 1997, 23 Penn College archers now have been named All-Americans 49 times.

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