Penn College Archers Set for National Competition
Since 1997, 14 Pennsylvania College of Technology archers have been named all-Americans 30 times. Of those 14, five have earned all-American status three or more times, and, this weekend at the United States Intercollegiate Archery Championships at Sparta, Ill., Wildcat Michelle Wright will seek to become the sixth. A two-time all-American already, Wright, a senior from Kendall, N.Y., is competing in the women's compound division. She will be joined by teammates Lindsey Fackler (sophomore/Halifax) and Sarah Wilson (junior/Tyrone). Last season, Penn College finished third nationally in team competition. "They've been very consistent all season. They're shooting very strong together, with Michelle leading them on. Her scores have been great all year long and I see them being in the top two or three," Penn College coach Chad Karstetter said. "(Michelle) has a good score going into nationals, she shot an excellent score at indoor nationals and she's among the top two in her class going into nationals. If she can hold her own, she'll be right where she needs to be to become an all-American," Karstetter said. Other Penn College archers competing at nationals will be senior Jason Kornbau (Felton), senior Chris Adams (Pen Argyl) and freshman James Fanelli (Glastonburg, Conn.) in male recurve and senior Nate Potteiger (Middletown), junior Ryan Rambo (Millville), sophomore Brock Smith (Brookville) and freshmen Jarrod Chandler (Gillett) and Brad Ferguson (Lewistown) in male compound. "I can see the male recurve team doing really well together. Chris Adams and Jason Kornbau have been shooting together for three years. With the addition of James Fanelli, their scores have gone through the roof. They've shot the best scores of their lives together," Karstetter said, adding that they are very capable of at least a finish among the top five. "The male compound team is shooting real strong now. They had a couple of mishaps (earlier in the season) that kept us out by a point here or there, but we hope that the tide turns and it is us beating everybody else by a point or two," the seventh-year coach continued. Karstetter added that Rambo and Adams also are on the cusp of being all-Americans. Rambo finished 10th nationally a year ago. Being in the East, Penn College has competed throughout the season against perennial powerhouse James Madison University and facing that kind of competition on a regular basis should pay off at nationals, according to Karstetter. "I don't think we're going to find a lot better competition than we've been facing. We know the scores needed to compete with James Madison, so we shouldn't have too many eye-openers," the coach said. Mentally, Karstetter said, his archers are ready. "We have quite a few who went (to nationals) last year and have an idea what it takes. Just standing there for 144 arrows and trying to keep your head in the game for that long is tough just for qualifying, not counting the knockout round. It's very important that you keep your mental game, and, so far this year, they've been doing really well," the coach said. Official ceremonies and practice begins Thursday. Around 100 archers from more than 30 colleges will shoot 72 arrows from longer distances (36 from each 70 and 90 meters) on Friday, andanother 72 arrows and shorter distances (36 each from 30 and 50 meters) on Saturday. Knockout rounds to determine individual placing will be held Sunday.