Wildcat Archer Second in Nation; Romberger Third-Time All-American
Individually and in team competition, Pennsylvania College of Technology archers closed out their season in grand fashion.
Competing in the U.S. Intercollegiate Outdoor Championship at Milledgeville, Ga., over the weekend, Karen Morse of Canton placed second in the nation in the women's compound event and was named a Golden Arrow Award winner, Ryan Romberger of Pillow was seventh in the men's compound and earned All-American status for the third year in a row and Jonas Glick of Lewistown placed ninth in the men's compound.
The Wildcats finished fourth in the overall team standings while taking second in women's team compound and third in the men's and mixed compound events.
Morse, a junior who earlier this year won the state women's indoor compound and set a new scoring record of 562 points in the process, shot a 574 during two rounds on the first day of competition from 70 and 60 meters and a 642 during two rounds the second from 50 and 30 meters and was in 11th place going into single-elimination head-to-head Olympic Round competition.
In the Olympic Round, Morse knocked off No. 6 Candice Blaschke of Texas A&M, 167-160, in the first round; eliminated No. 3 Amanda Raffaelli of Texas A&M, 113-109, in the quarterfinals; and outdid No. 2 Anna Stratton of Texas A&M, 107-102, in the semifinals.
Facing top-seeded Jessica Grant of Texas A&M in the final, Morse lost, 98-96.
"Karen's qualifying scores weren't near as high as some of the other girls after Friday and Saturday, but, on Sunday, she came back and shot better than I've ever seen her shoot, beating out some of the best girls in the country," said Chad Karstetter, Penn College's fifth-year coach.
"She was extremely happy (with her finish). Her parents were there and got to watch her shoot," he added.
Also competing in women's compound for Penn College and earning valuable points that helped the team to its third-place finish were junior Beth Robinson of Williamsport and sophomore Michelle Wright of Kendall, N.Y.
Robinson shot a 616 Friday and a 644 Saturday to earn the No. 8 seed. Wright shot an even 600 Friday and had a 633 Saturday to earn the No. 10 seed. Both then lost on the first round of head-to-head competition.
"In a national event, you are competing against the best in the country and (in single elimination) it's a matter of one arrow. They shot extremely well, but it just wasn't good enough to keep them in the running," Karstetter said. "It was really hot and muggy and the wind was blowing hard on Sunday."
In women's recurve, Penn College's sophomore Sarah Wilson of Tyrone shot a 359 on Friday and a 459 on Saturday, good for 30th place going into the Olympic Round. There, she lost in the first round.
Karstetter said Wilson's total was a personal career best, nearly 200 points than her previous high, and he expects greater things from her next season.
For the Penn College men in the compound division, Romberger, a senior, qualified ninth after shooting a 629 from 90 and 70 meters Friday and a 662 from 50 and 30 meters on Saturday; junior John Mattivi (Southern Columbia) was No. 16 after a 593 Friday and 652 Saturday; sophomore Glick was No. 17 after a 584 Friday and a 660 Saturday; sophomore Ryan Benny (Burnham) was No. 19 after shooting 588 Friday and 652 Saturday, and junior Steve Liehr (Oakford) was No. 23 after scoring 573 Friday and 654 Saturday.
In the Olympic round, Romberger had a first-round bye then defeated No. 24 Eric Blomquist of Cal State Long Beach, 168-157; Mattivi had a first-round bye then lost to teammate Glick, 160-153; Benny had a bye then beat No. 14 Jon Bahr of Texas, 168-157, and Liehr defeated No. 42 Andy Kalbach of Thaddeus Stevens, 163-123, in the first round before upsetting No. 10 Patrick Parsons of Texas A&M, 166-165, in the second round.
Romberger ousted No. 25 Steve Shaffer of Thaddeus Stevens, 168-160, in the third round, while Glick, Benny and Liehr all were eliminated.
Facing No. 1 Braden Gellenthien of James Madison in the quarterfinals, Romberger lost, 117-110.
Under an accumulative points system that combines scores from the indoor and outdoor national events, Romberger, who graduated from Upper Dauphin High School, became the college's 29th All-American. He joins Karstetter, Brian Parker, Shawn Naylor and Harry Bauman as a three-time All-American. Karstetter and Parker are the college's only four-time All-Americans.
"I was very pleased with the way Ryan shot. He made it as far as any person of his caliber would have made it. When you get to the elite top eight, it's just a point of whether those 12 arrows you just shot were the best 12 arrows of your life or not," Karstetter said.
Romberger graduated earlier this month and Karstetter, reflecting on his career, said, "His loss is going to be a great hurt for the team. For the three years he was on the team, he shot exceptionally well. It's going to be hard for someone to walk into Penn College and fill his shoes."
Romberger, along with Benny and Wright, also were honored by USA Archery by being named to the College All-Academic Team. Romberger carried a 3.9 grade-point average, according to the USA Archery Web site, Benny a 3.8 and Wright a 3.2.
In the male recurve division for Penn College, junior Jason Kornbau (Red Lion) qualified No. 41 after shooting 446-513, junior Dustin Yocum (Morgantown) qualified at No. 45 with a 409-521, and sophomore Chris Adams (Pen Argyl) qualified at No. 50 with rounds of 361-531. All three then lost in the first round of the head-to-head competition.
Of the three, Kornbau had been shooting the best going into the outdoor nationals, but some of his equipment was damaged during the flight to Georgia and that hurt his qualifying scores, according to his coach.
"He shot a little better during the elimination rounds, but it just wasn't altogether there yet," Karstetter said.
In women's compound team competition, Penn College finished second for the second year in a row to Texas A&M and ahead of James Madison. In men's compound, James Madison was first, Texas A&M second and Penn College third while in mixed team compound (two men and two women), Texas A&M was first with 5,312 points, James Madison second with 5,251 points and the Wildcats (Romberger, Mattivi, Robinson and Wright) third with 5,028 points. Men's and women's team compound scores were not available.
The top 10 teams in the final standings, with their points in parentheses: 1. Texas A&M (1,225), 2. James Madison (1,057), 3. Atlantic Cape Community College (772), 4. Penn College (669), 5. University of Texas at Austin (631), 6. Dine (594), 7. Cal State Long Beach (565), 8. Stanford (545), 9. UCLA (465), 10. Cal State (Pa.) (324).
Penn State ended No. 13 with 241 points and Slippery Rock was No. 27 with 100 points.
In all, 33 colleges and 171 archers competed.
"I'm looking forward to next year," Karstetter said. "We're going to be rebuilding because we only have four people (Kornbau, Adams, Wright and Wilson) returning (due to graduation and students transferring to other schools)."
Karstetter has his work cut out.