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CHULA VISTA, California - The National Outdoor Collegiate Championships and World University Games - U.S. Team Trials features 144 arrows of qualification shot over two days. The first 72-arrows began this morning, followed by the mixed team competition in the afternoon. Over 50 schools are battling for team and individual honors as well as the Overall National Team Championship award and recognition on the All-American Team.
Texas A&M's Ariel Gibilaro, who is one of the recurve women's qualification leaders, is a first year student after leaving the Resident Athlete program last year, and is back competing on her old practice field. Gibilaro also led her team to silver in the recurve mixed team event: "It's a very different dynamic than you'll find at USAT events or international events," she shared. "I started off okay, then the pressure kind of got to me, but I realized it was in my head and I just needed to trust my shot and I came back. My scores are not as high as they used to be, so if people notice that and they're like 'what happened?' well, college happened." Gibilaro's favorite aspect of competing at NOCC: "It's the team, it's the fact that the majority of people are here to have fun and not to win."
Texas A&M's bowhunter mixed team brought home the gold. Carla Warren attributed her success: "On my breaks I was able to focus on what I'm doing right but also have fun, enjoy the music they were playing and hang out with my teammates. I'm looking forward to keep seeing how we do, especially in team rounds; we've been working really hard."
Northern Arizona University's Paeton Keller, who won bronze at the World University Championships in Mongolia last year, is leading the compound men's field in qualification after today's 72 arrows. "It was going great for me until the wind kicked in in the last three ends maybe," he shared. "As far as this competition is concerned, I definitely hope to make the team again. As far as tomorrow is concerned, just hopefully I start off on a good note, try to make my shots run smoothly and fight through the wind if there is any."
UCLA's Brandon Chin, a senior in the barebow division also led his team from a fifth-place seed to the gold. The barebow division, which has been growing exponentially, was highly competitive with exciting matches. "It was nerve-wracking; we were seeded fifth, so middle of the pack," shared Chin. "We had our ups and downs through the whole thing, when one of us wasn't doing well the other was able to pick up the slack." On the growth of the barebow program, he added: "It's great seeing the growth; in my freshman year, we only had a handful of archers and the scores were nowhere near as high as they are now."
Other teams with great success in the team competitions so far, looking ahead to the Overall National Team Championships award include: UC San Diego, Michigan State University and James Madison University.
Results from the qualification are available here. Rankings from the World University Games - U.S. Team Trials are available here. For results from the mixed team competition, click here. Live scores for tomorrow and target assignments are available here. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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