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LANSING, Michigan - Texas A&M picked up major points towards the National Team Championship Award at U.S. National Outdoor Collegiate Championships with five major team gold medals and one bronze finish in the six of eight categories they competed in.
"We had a very good day. We shot to our capability and beyond, and we did what we came to do. I'm more than proud of the team," commented coach Frank Thomas.
Perhaps the most exciting match-up of the day, the compound women's final came down to Michigan State University and the A&M Aggies. After MSU missed an arrow, they came back to tie the score 212-212 and force a one-arrow shoot off. Through screaming teammates, who were rumored to have triggered an 8 on the Richter scale with school cheers, A&M took the gold win.
Allie Blazek led the compound women's field for A&M and commented: "I was shaking the whole time, I'm so proud of my team. I've never shot in a match like that - it was crazy. I love the energy of the collegiate tournaments. I was just trying to stay calm, not let the crowd get to me, and shoot my shot."
The compound men from A&M also took gold with a narrow win over MSU. Aggie Torrey Bonham was enthusiastic: "It was exhilarating for sure, we were just working to shoot strong shots, and get away from the wind as quickly as we could. There were a couple of points where we needed to make good shots and some points in the match were we had some space, but we just kept on going and fought through it, but it was pretty close to the end."
Senior and recent graduate Hunter Teel commented on his bowhunter team's victory: "It felt great to win the gold. We just had to shoot our shot, we knew that if we just shot our shots we'd do what we needed to do to take the gold home. We just made sure we shot our shots and followed through. Gig 'em Ags!" The bowhunter women also took gold with a wide margin over James Madison University.
"We had a great showing today. Our goal was just to hold red, keep everything together, read the wind correctly and to support each other. That was our main goal the last end and we definitely achieved it. It was definitely tricky out there," commented Aggie Michelle Gilbert on their 6-2 win over reigning winner Columbia. "Our last end, we were all making sure to follow through, take our time, and not rush. We had some rough ends but we kept it together and the last end was one of our best, but it was close."
The A&M recurve men finished with the bronze while JMU won a decisive gold final. UC Davis was golden in both barebow finals.
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