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Wildcat Archer Brings Home Gold at World University Games

Zachary PlannickSaturday was a day of perfection for Pennsylvania College of Technology archer Zachary Plannick, of Coraopolis.

The 20-year-old, who will be a junior at the college in the fall, scored with all 24 of his arrows and helped the United States men’s compound team to a gold medal at the 25th World University Games in Belgrade, Serbia.

In the finale, the United States, which qualified fifth, defeated Mexico, which qualified third, 23-19. Russia, the top qualifier among 12 teams, captured a bronze with a 21-19 win over No. 10 qualifier Indonesia.

“Zach shot clean. He had a perfect score,” Plannick’s mother, Joanne, confirmed after talking on the phone with her son shortly after the finals ended. “We’re very happy.”

Joanne Plannick said her son and his teammates, Steven Gatto, of Atlantic Cape Community College, and Stephen Schwade, of the University of North Carolina, were very confident after knocking off Russia on Friday and built on that momentum.

“He (Zachary) was totally elated that they won gold,” Joanne Plannick continued. “And, now he has two,” she added, in reference to gold her son won in 2006 as a member of the record-setting U.S. Junior compound team in Mexico.

On Saturday, Gatto also won a gold medal in the men’s individual compound event. He took silver in mixed team compound action on Friday.

In previous recent World University Games competition, U.S. men’s compound teams took silver in 2005 and bronze in 2003.

The next few days will be hectic for Plannick and fellow Penn College teammate Glen Thomas, of Mercer, who competed at the Games in recurve archery events, as their international experience continues. Closing ceremonies are scheduled for Sunday night and they catch a flight for the return trip home early Monday.

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