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May 17, 2024

Day one of Collegiate Target Nationals does not disappoint as records tumble

STATESBORO, Ga. – The quality of archers gracing the grounds of Georgia Southern University at the 2024 USA Archery Collegiate Target Nationals was apparent on the first day of competition as collegiate, national and even world records were broken (pending verification).

Maggie Brensinger is the number one seed after qualification in the barebow women’s event. Her score of 620 beat the previous U21 world record, set by Francesca Benavidez at the 2023 USA Archery JOAD Target Nationals. It was also a new collegiate and U21 national record!

The barebow U21 women’s winner at Gator Cup, and gold medalist at the Indoor Nationals Final, Brensinger (pictured below) is one of three University of Pikeville athletes in the top four after qualification. Anastacia Godman (Lindsey Wilson College) sits second, with Pikeville pair Allison Collinsworth and Morrighain Nyer sitting third and fourth.

On the men’s side, Venugopal Kunnavakkam (Texas A&M) only learned a few weeks back that he would be switching from recurve to barebow, and he seems to have embraced the challenge as his top score of 628 will be a new collegiate national record. The collegiate record had been held by John Sarazin, who scored 611 at JOAD Target Nationals last year.

Sawyer Sullivan (pictured below) has bettered his own collegiate national record. The Texas A&M archer scored 716 on Friday. He previously shot 715 while on international duty with the USA at World Cup Stage #1 in Turkey last year.

And in the fixed pins women’s event, reigning champion Kimber Wheeler (University of the Cumberlands) looks to have re-written the record books, also. Her qualification score of 685 beats the collegiate national record set by Madison Cox in 2021 by one point.

Texas A&M dominated qualification the recurve men, occupying the first three places, led by Trenton Cowles, and followed by Alex Gilliam and Nikolas Swidryk. Defending champion Micheal Plummer (Mount Marty University) is fifth seed, with Dante Buck (Metropolitan State University of Denver) posting the fourth best score.

In a highly-competitive recurve women’s field, Columbia University managed three of the top four scores, led by Eunice Choi. Choi arrived in Georgia fresh from winning the recurve U21 women at last the Easton Foundations Gator Cup. Her 635 total was six points ahead of University of the Cumberlands archer Brianna Laux, with teammates Judith Gottlieb and Michelle Ahn tucked in behind. Gottlieb took silver last season. Ahn won silver at Gator Cup in the U21 division.

Texas A&M University has two archers in the top six, with Alyssa Artz and Riley Marx. Marx has hot-footed it from Florida, where she was involved in the Olympic Trials.

Columbia topped the rankings after qualification in compound women, as Giselle DeSousa returned a score of 691. The top three were separated by three points, among them defending champion Marissa Harding. Harding is third seed, surrounded by University of the Cumberlands teammates Danielle Woodie and Madison Cox. The leading seven archers are within 10 points of each other.

And just six points separated the top six archers at the end of qualification in fixed pins men. Connor Mullis (University of the Cumberlands) topped the scoring charts on 685. His teammate Colton Caudill was third, with Matthew Steward (Wabash Valley College) coming in second. Conner Kaufhold (Texas A&M) was placed fourth, trailed by Jacob Gonzales (Texas A&M) and Nate Harper (University of Pikeville), who both settled for the same score of 679.

Day two in Statesboro will bring elimination rounds in the individual events (through the bronze medal matches), followed by team rounds in the afternoon.

For the first time, USA Archery will broadcast both the individual and mixed team gold medal matches at the Collegiate Target Nationals. The individual gold medal matches start at 8am ET on Sunday, followed by mixed team at 3pm. Both will be found on USA Archery’s Facebook and YouTube channels.

Latest scores and results can be found on Between Ends, with action photos uploaded each day at the end of each session.

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