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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Archery team hosts Indoor Championships

Archers from across Texas will storm College Station this weekend as the Texas A&M archery team hosts one of nine events in the 34th National Indoor Target Championships taking place at indoor locations across the United States. The contest will consist of nine regional competitions, after which National Archery Association officials will compile scores and name a winner in both the recurve and compound disciplines.
During the past several years, A&M has quietly developed one of the premiere archery programs in the nation. Head Coach Kathy Eissinger has led the Aggies to seven consecutive National Championships, including three since the University granted the sport of archery varsity status in 1999.
Eissinger has coached Aggie archers to seven individual collegiate national titles for the past three years, including two-time indoor compound champion junior Mary Zorn.
Zorn has raised the bar in indoor competition. Last year, she shot a collegiate record 1,171 at the national indoor championships, besting the 1,156 mark she had set at the same competition as a freshman.
Zorn’s only indoor rival is fellow Aggie archer sophomore Amber Dawson. Dawson, who finished the 2002 season ranked first in compound shooting in the nation, was the first archer to beat Zorn in collegiate competition during last year’s Lone Star FITA in Austin.
“I try not to think of it as competing against Mary,” Dawson said. “But we definitely push each other.”
As a freshman, Dawson was set to compete in the World Target Championships in Beijing, China, when the Sept. 11 tragedy forced the closing of American airports.
“We were on the tarmac in Dallas waiting to leave for Chicago when the captain came on and said there had been a national security breach,” she said. “We were all very frightened.”
In the Aggies’ last competition, Dawson won her first-ever indoor collegiate title, capturing the 2003 Texas State Indoor Championship with a 1,153-1,121 victory over freshman teammate Amanda Raffaelli.
In recurve shooting, the Aggies are led by senior archer Dawn Chudy. She finished last season as the nation’s best recurve archer, and finished the World Indoor Trials and the Texas State Indoor Championship as the top-rated collegiate recurve archer.
“From a recurve standpoint, Dawn is one of the best women archers we’ve ever had in the program,” Eissinger said
Chudy and Zorn have received invitations to join the 2003 U.S. World Indoor Team and will be competing at the 7th FITA World Indoor Championships in Nimes, France, scheduled to begin just two days after the conclusion of the national indoor competition. The World Indoor Championships is the biggest event for indoor archers.
“It’s a tremendous honor to send two archers to the World Championships,” Eissinger said. “It is one of the premier tournaments in the world, behind the Olympics.”
The Southern regional portion of the 34th National Indoor Target Championships kicks off two days of archery competition Friday at 6 p.m. in G. Rollie White Coliseum.

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