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The Battalion

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Aggie’s competing in USA Archery Indoor Nationals

Texas A&M and the Aggie Archery team will be one of four host teams for the 54th Archery Indoor Nationals Feb. 24-26 at the Physical Education Activity Program building with 40 Aggies set to compete.
There will be three lines of archers on Friday and Saturday starting at 8 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.; Sunday will have two lines starting at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Each line typically lasts 3.5-3.75 hours, coach Lorinda Cohen Gomez said. No tickets are required and the public is invited to watch the competition. The archery coaches said they expect the maroon and white to do well in the competition.
Hundreds of archers will compete using disciplines such as the barebow, compound, fixed pins, longbow, para compound, para recurve, recurve and traditional recurve, according to USAarchery.com.
There will be eight lines total across the three days of the tournament, explained Gomez.
“There are a lot of talented archers this year that are not only expected to place well regionally but on a national level too, with other senior archers,” Gomez said.
For each line archers will shoot three arrows at a time adding up to 60 arrows total, Gomez said. Two people will shoot on the top targets and two people will shoot on the bottom targets. That will accumulate to 20 ends during that shooting time if they are juniors and younger kids.
The adults will repeat the process and will shoot 120 arrows total, added Francis Thomas, one of three archery coaches at A&M who has been coaching Aggie archers since 1980. Archers from A&M have competed at Team USA, the Olympic games, World Cups and World Championships, Thomas said.
This is the biggest indoor tournament, not by size, but by importance because the scores from the tournament are the first half of the score needed to make All American, Thomas said. This score will be added to an archery collegiate outdoor ranking, which determines who will make All American.
The coaches want to make sure their archers are prepared to shoot their best at this event, which will be challenging but also fun, Thomas said.
“On any given practice day, if you are shooting with our archers, you’re shooting with the best archers in the country,” Thomas said.
“We have one young lady that was on the last Olympic team – Casey Kaufhold – and a compound gentleman that is #1 [Junior Olympic Archery Development] in the country – Sawyer Sullivan,” Thomas said.
In the college division, Thomas said the team includes five of probably the top seven male recurves in the country shooting: biomedical sciences senior Nick Swidryk, mechanical engineering senior Alex Gilliam, manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology senior Trenton Cowles, psychology junior Stefan Savin and nutrition junior Venu Kunnavakkam.
Other Aggies to keep an eye out for are recurve women sports management senior Riley Marx and Abby Rutledge; compound men aerospace engineering senior Ethan Merrill and petroleum engineering sophomore Logan Hamilton; and compound women general engineering freshman Carson Krahe, general engineering senior Malia Moseley and microbiology senior Kinzie Thomas, Thomas said.
“Bring binoculars to see where the arrows hit, which makes it a lot more fun,” Thomas said. There are several types of bow classes for people to watch and Thomas recommends fans be attentive to good shooters to see how they are separated from the rest.
Each year, the team sets goals to win the national championship, have at least 12 All Americans and to put people on international teams, Thomas said, a strategy that has proven to be very successful.
“One of the strangest things about this sport is that they are going to be competing collegiately against all the other colleges, but they’re also going to be competing nationally if they choose to do shooting against the very best in the country of all ages,” Thomas said.
A&M Archery has won the national championship 22 times from 1996-2006 and 2010-2021, with the exception of 2020 when the national championships did not occur due to COVID-19, according to TamuArchery.com.
For more information, visit TamuArchery.com or follow the team @tamutargetarchers on Instagram.
Lilian Potempa is a junior recreation, park and tourism sciences major and contributed this article from JOUR 359 Reporting Sports class.

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