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CHULA VISTA, California - The U.S. National Outdoor Collegiate Championships and World University Games - U.S. Team Trials began today with official practice, the opening ceremonies, and a fun cookout and archery games. Record shattering participation of almost 400 athletes promises intense and exciting competition this week as athletes from colleges and universities across the nation compete for individual, team and mixed team honors. Athletes will also be competing for the prestigious Overall National Team Championship award and All-American honors.
Co-hosted by UC San Diego's archery team and the Easton Archery Center of Excellence, this event gives many student-athletes their biggest stage of the year. The Olympic Torch set the stage for the Opening Ceremony as the flame got all student-athletes fired up for competition.
Kelton Cheng, a barebow archer at UCSD was excited about hosting the event and being part of the planning process. He shared: "I'm most excited for mixed teams - this is the first mixed team UCSD has ever had because we haven't had female barebow shooters. I'm really looking forward to seeing how we do in that event."
Matthew Grover, a Texas A&M recurve archer, was more excited about the camaraderie of collegiate nationals: "Being on the A&M team, it's a lot of community. I'm so glad to be here with all my friends and to have the opportunity to shoot at the Elite Athlete Training Center and to see my friends from other schools." The A&M team took a 25-hour bus ride to compete this weekend and has high hopes for another shot at the national team championship award.
Oklahoma State archer Brogan Williams, who has represented the U.S. in many international events, is looking forward to the World University Games Team Trials portion of the event: "I really like that we're doing 144 arrows for the Trials instead of 72." She added that there are many benefits to competing in the collegiate division: "In collegiate archery, we're all in the same situation. We have one archer on our team who wanted to come, but he's so invested in his studies he made the choice to stay home. I'm so impressed with how well some of these archers do considering how much work they have outside of the sport."
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