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Penn College Represented at World University Games

Zachary PlannickWhen archery competition begins at the 2009 Summer World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia, Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport will have two faces in the crowd.

Glen ThomasZachary Plannick, of Coraopolis, 20, who will be a junior in the fall, and Glen Thomas, of Mercer, 19, who will be a sophomore, are members of the United States archery squad. Plannick will compete on the men’s compound team and Thomas on the men’s recurve team. Both are manufacturing engineering technology majors at the college.

“The World University Games are the highest level you can achieve as a college archer,” said Penn College coach Chad Karstetter. “At this event, everyone is a star athlete from their country and competition is tough. Zach and Glen are ready; they have been practicing and hitting some events around their hometowns.”

“The U.S. is sending a good team of archers and I feel that they are going to have a good showing there,” Karstetter added.

This spring, Plannick and Thomas helped Penn College to U.S. Intercollegiate Archery Championships in male recurve and mixed compound events. They also earned All-American honors and, as a result of those efforts, were awarded spots on the American team at the 25th World University Games, where more than 6,300 athletes from 142 countries are competing July 1-12.

Both have previous international experience. Plannick was an individual junior national compound bow champion in 2005 and 2006, and, in 2006, was a member of the record-setting U.S. Junior team in Mexico. Thomas competed as a junior in Mexico in 2006 and Turkey last year.

“The first time (competing internationally), it was almost overwhelming. Having gone through it once helps a lot. I think this time it should be as good, if not better than the first time I went,” Plannick said. “It should be fun.”

“I know my other two teammates and they’re world-class shooters, so we should make a pretty mean team,” he continued. “I want to try and make a good name for Penn College and do the best I can.”

“It’s an honor to go. It’s real nice to be able to go and shoot against people from other countries and represent the United States,” Thomas said.

The biggest difference between shooting here and internationally, he said, is the competition.

“Here, I’m usually near the top, but over there, there are so many other good archers. The level of competition is a lot higher.”

Thomas said he qualified 25th in Mexico and was near that in Turkey. He hopes to be among the top 20 this time.

Although the collegiate season ended in mid-May, Thomas has continued to practice daily to stay sharp.

Looking to action in Belgrade, archery events are scheduled July 8-11, Thomas said, “A lot of it is mental. I’ve been to two (international competitions) already, so it’s not going to be overwhelming. You just have to do what you’ve been doing all along.”