Penn College Has National Archery Champion

Published 05.18.2004


One individual national champion, two second-place team finishes and three All-Americans. It was another season to remember for the Penn College archery squad.

Ryan Romberger, a junior from Pillow and graduate of Upper Dauphin High School, won the male compound title in the U.S. Collegiate Outdoor Championships, which concluded Sunday at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. His individual effort, coupled with a third-place finish by Steve Liehr (Oakford) and a fourth by Ryan Benny (Burnham), helped the Wildcats place second in the division as a team.

"They shot exceptionally well throughout the whole event," said coach Chad Karstetter of his male compound team. "Until the last round they were neck-and-neck with Texas A&M."

"Individually, Ryan Romberger impressed everyone there. He shot really well. A coach couldn't be any more happy than to see all of his archers up in the top four places," Karstetter continued, pointing out that the College's last national champ was Shawn Nyler in 1999.

Under a points system that combines indoor and outdoor scores during the season, Romberger and Benny earned All-America recognition, as did Lady Wildcat Michelle Wright (Kendall, N.Y.) For Romberger, it was the second year in a row that he has been so honored and it increased the College?s total number of All-Americans to 16.

"Ryan has been a great asset to the team. He put forth a lot of effort and has been shooting a lot lately he's out on the practice range shooting for a couple of hours every morning and it really paid off here at the end. He lived up to all of my preseason expectations and then some," Karstetter said.

Penn College's women's compound team also finished second, and, overall, the school placed seventh during the four-day competition that involved 22 colleges and 167 archers. A non-athletic injury to a member of the College's male recurve team just before the squad headed to nationals forced it out of that portion of the competition.

In reaching the women's compound final, Penn College first beat James Madison. And it had Texas A&M on the ropes with an eight-point lead going into the final round before losing by two points.

"That would probably have been Texas A&M's first loss in the last 10 or 15 years," Karstetter said. "They have dominated the whole sport. It was nice to see our girls out there beating them and seeing their coaches worried. I was looking for the girls to get that far, but the way they shot to do it was exceptional. They could not have shot any better."

Wright, a freshman, placed fifth in individual women's compound competition and Beth Robinson (Williamsport) was sixth. Also competing for the Lady Wildcats was Karen Morse (Canton), whose shooting in the knockout round was important to the team's overall finish.

"Our season went very well. I was pleased and I'm looking forward to next year because I don't lose anybody," Karstetter added.