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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 advances to Outdoor National Championship

The+Texas+A%26amp%3BM+Archery+team+has+won+twenty-one+national+championships+between+1996+and+2019.
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The Texas A&M Archery team has won twenty-one national championships between 1996 and 2019.

The Texas A&M archery team has won 21 national championship titles. However, it is a team many do not even know exists at A&M, said team president Nick Swidryk.
Archers have been coming to A&M from high school since 1996 to be a part of the winning tradition, Swidryk said, and the team is now attracting national champions. The team’s first outdoor national competition kicks off May 20, and members have continued practicing while staying socially distanced due to COVID-19.
Archery is not a sport many people are familiar with, said team member Meredith Reynholds.
“A&M is obviously a football school,” Reynholds said. “I would say [archery is] not mainstream, so people don’t know we have the team.”
However, younger students who are serious about the sport know about A&M’s team, said Swidryk.
“Most of our freshmen this year, I’ve known that have competed on the national circuit for years before they came here,” Swidryk said.
Archery has multiple divisions at the collegiate level, each with its own rules, Swidryk said.
“For collegiate shooters, we have Olympic recurve, men’s and women’s compound, men’s and women’s bowhunter [and] men’s and women’s barebow, so it’s like eight divisions, give or take,” Swidryk said.
Along with each of those divisions, there are rules and regulations pertaining to stabilizers and weight cap, according to usarchery.org.
“Recurve is the kind of bow that you’re going to see have the stabilizers and the sights, and all the fancy stuff on it,” Reynholds said. “Compound is more like your traditional hunting bow; they’ll maybe have a stabilizer on the end, which is really just a big long rod to help tighten the groups of your arrows on the target.”
A barebow is allowed to have nothing fancy on it that would help the archer, said Reynholds, who is a recurve shooter.
“Typically, a full recurve set up, including all of the arrows and pieces and things like that, is going to be anywhere from $3,000 and $5,000,” said Reynholds.
Although most players pay for the equipment themselves, the team has many donors and sponsors from families of team members that help the team with competitions and events, said Reynholds.
The big Outdoor National tournament will still happen, Swidryk said, but due to COVID-19, only half of the players can attend compared to the normal number.
“Our head coach said, ‘You know, if we really have a chance at the national title we need 24 people,’” Swidryk said. “So, it’s three people from each division, from the men’s category and the women’s category.”
Fitting that many people on a bus should be feasible, so there shouldn’t be any problems getting to the tournament, Swidryk said.
“We have a better opportunity now than last year,” Swidryk said. “We have an actual chance I should say, to defend that title, so we are going to do everything we can do to do that.”
The Outdoor National Championships will be held from May 20-23 at James Madison University in Virginia.

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