Skip to main content

Penn College Archers Poised for National Event

Vol. 8, No. 39 (Through Sunday, May 9)

Penn College Wildcat Tales Talented and outstanding shooters, seasoned veterans and depth: the Pennsylvania College of Technology archery squad has all of the ingredients needed to challenge for the national team championship.

“Every year, I wonder how we can achieve more than we did the previous year. Last year, we had such a great season, but, the way things have gone all season long we’ve pretty much gone undefeated in team and individual rounds we’re actually looking stronger than we were last year,” coach Chad Karstetter assessed. “The only things we could do better would be a higher place overall finish and winning the men’s compound division.”

Penn College archers will join others from across the country Thursday through Sunday at the 43rd U.S. Intercollegiate Archery Championships at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

Since 1998, Penn College has excelled in national competition, producing six team and three individual champions. Last year alone, it took a school-record three team titles, had one individual champ, produced a school-record seven All-Americans and ended third in the country, its highest overall finish ever after ending fourth in 2005 and 2008. Twenty-two of its archers have earned 40 All-American honors, and they are set for more gold this year.

Dan Wido (Shickshinny) is defending his male compound championship, and some of his stiffest competition will come from teammates Zachary Plannick (Coraopolis) and Jarrod Chandler (Gillett). Plannick is ranked No. 1 in the country and Wido No. 2.

“That’s how good of a program we have right now. Out of the top 25 archers in the country, we fill a third of the places, almost. Everywhere we go, it seems like, when we make it to the medal rounds, it is Penn College against Penn College. Whoever is on that very day and in that very hour is going to come out the champion overall,” Karstetter said.

Also shooting in the same division for the Wildcats are Brad Ferguson (Lewistown), Aaron Lapinski (Bloomsburg) and Clint Hinton (Lock Haven).

Last year, Karstetter expected his male compound team to win the national championship, but it finished second by one point. And unexpectedly, the Wildcats’ female compound team of Lindsey Fackler (Halifax), Cheryl Brooks (Reynoldsville) and Julie Cain (Bellefonte) won the national crown. Fackler and Cain return this season, and have been joined by Kjirsten Radencic (Dushore).

“Kjirsten has come a long way and our women’s team this year is, by far, the best we’ve ever had. I expect them to do very, very well,” Karstetter said.

Returning from last year’s national male recurve championship team are Glen Thomas (Mercer) and James Fanelli (Glastonburg, Conn.). They will be joined by Brock Smith (Brookville) and Tyler Gale (Kennedyville, Md.). Thomas is ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Wido, Plannick and Fackler also were members of the winning mixed compound team, although the format will change this year in that only two archers, one male and one female, compete in contested team rounds.

Thomas and Hilary Fisher (Temple) will compete in mixed recurve and possibly Fackler and either Wido or Plannick in mixed compound. Fisher also will compete individually in female recurve.

“We did not have anyone in women’s recurve last year and that’s what hurt us in the overall championship. This year, just having one, we’re going to get points and it might just be enough, if the other teams place as high as they did last year, for us to win the national championship. That’s what we’re really shooting for,” Karstetter said.

During the regular season, Penn College’s Kyle Bennett (Bellefonte) and Joe Dowdrick (Lebanon) dominated the new bowhunter division, but there is no national competition for that event this year.

“Eastern Regionals was the end of their season,” Karstetter said. “It was a test event this year and it may be a national event next year, but we don’t know yet.”

Staying calm is important in any competition, but even more so at nationals, according to Karstetter.

“They need to keep their cool. We’ve been practicing in the parking lot here at the college, but it doesn’t put the pressure on them that they will have at nationals,” the coach said. “Up until nationals, the only event that has been large enough to give them pressure is the Eastern Regionals that were held here, but even that was only about a quarter of the size that nationals will be.

“It they can keep their cool when the time comes that they have to shoot the team rounds is going to be a key factor. “¦ When you have a three-person team, you can’t have one of the three not with the program. They all have to work together as a team. If you get through the first couple of rounds, you’re not quite as excited, and the jitters and butterflies in your stomach finally leave. Then you hit the medal matches and they’re back. If we can keep our cool through the first couple of rounds and during the medal matches, I can see us having a few national titles this year,” Karstetter said.

Not only are his archers vying for national recognition, Karstetter, in his 10th season as coach, is a national Coach of the Year nominee.

“It’s exciting. This is the first time I have been nominated for Coach of the Year, but every coach is deserving. Working with the guys is the biggest reward for me. Just being nominated is enough for me,” he said.

Road Running Two members of the college men’s cross-country team competed in the Pittsburgh Marathon on May 2. Jeff Faherty (Sussex, N.J.) finished No. 141 with a time of 3 hours, 13 minutes, 14 seconds, and Russell Blankenship (New Florence, Va.) placed 813 in 3:50, according to coach Mike Paulhamus. In all, 4,020 runners participated.

Recent Results/Upcoming GamesArchery Thursday, May 13, to Sunday, May 16 at USIAC Intercollegiate Championships at Texas A&M

(Complete rosters and season schedules are available on the college’s Athletics Web site . For more information on the PSUAC, visit on the Web; more about the USCAA also is available online.)

Subscribe to PCToday Daily Email