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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Tokyo 2020 Olympian and 2021 World Archery Championships silver medalist Casey Kaufhold recently announced she will join USA Archery’s Collegiate Archery Program, shooting for Texas A&M University (TAMU), beginning this fall. Student-athletes in USA Archery’s Collegiate Archery Program aim for excellence in the classroom and on the target, with opportunities to shoot for recreational enjoyment, or competitively at the state, regional, national and international levels.
“I knew I wanted to do archery in college because I’m planning on continuing to compete in the World Cups and at a high level, so I wanted a school that had a major I was interested in, as well as a strong team where I know the archers on it would push me. I push myself to practice, but I like to have people around me that I can do matches with or practice scoring for small, friendly competitions. A&M looked like the best choice right now for me to have that experience,” said Kaufhold.
Kaufhold was accepted to the Visualization major in the College of Architecture, where she will explore career opportunities in the creative design realm while pursuing archery at the highest level of training and competition.
“You have to study a lot more in college than you do in high school, so I’m going to try to prioritize my time as much as possible. Classes are a priority obviously, so after that, I’ll just try to practice whenever I can. I’d like to get a schedule down so I can practice in between classes. At A&M they have lights on their outdoor range, so it’s open until 11 p.m. Even if it’s dark out, I can practice at night and get those reps in if I have to,” Kaufhold said.
Connor Kaufhold, Casey’s brother, also attends A&M and will be her teammate on the TAMU Archery team. Connor will begin his Junior year at A&M this Fall and will help Casey get acquainted with life as a college athlete.
“Over the past few years, whenever he’s home, I’m traveling, so I haven’t seen him for a long period of time in a long time. I think it’ll be really neat to be at the same college and live nearby. He can kind of show me the ropes and help me out with anything because he will have two years of experience there by the time I get there. I’m excited to shoot on the team with him and get to spend more time with him,” said Kaufhold.
Kaufhold shared that she is particularly excited about experiencing her first USA Archery Collegiate Target Nationals. The culminating event of the collegiate season features heated individual, team and mixed team competition as archers battle it out for podium finishes, All-American and All-American Academic honors and the highly coveted National Team Championship Award.
“I love the atmosphere that we’re first here to do business and shoot well, but also to have fun and just be goofy and silly with your teammates and have that team spirit and cheer your lungs out. I’m so excited. Connor has described it to me, and it sounds like such a good time,”
The TAMU Archery team are twenty-two-time National Champions. They have team members in the recurve, compound, bowhunter and barebow divisions. Frank Thomas, Instructional Professor and Chair of the Physical Education Program at A&M, is part of TAMU Archery’s coaching staff and is excited to welcome another Kaufhold to the team.
Coach Thomas shared, “We’re excited to get Casey down here. We think she’s going to add a tremendous amount to the team and Texas A&M. And Texas A&M is going to give her a chance to be the best she can be in archery and in life. I’ve spoken with her Dean; he looked over her portfolio and was very impressed.”
Joining a collegiate team allows young adults to share their skills with one another and use a fun, yet competitive atmosphere to encourage personal growth. This is a valuable opportunity for Kaufhold and her new teammates to embolden each other to reach their full potential.
“If you want to be great, surround yourself with people who are where you want to be, and here at A&M, we have people who are where you want to be,” shared Coach Thomas. “They push each other to the top. When people come to A&M, a lot of time they come to us as individual archers; they’ve done very little team activity. Even at the Olympics, the team round is a day. Archery is pretty much an individual sport, but when you get to college it becomes a team sport because you can’t win the national championship by yourself. So, we actually work very hard on developing a team camaraderie that encourages everybody to help everybody be better.
“When you go to a tournament, you see no one is going to be yelling louder than the Aggies are for whoever is shooting. It makes for a family affair. You’ll have friends you’ll know for the rest of your life, and you’ll send them Christmas cards and know when their kids are born. These people are going to be in your life for the rest of your life, and that’s something that makes archery really different in college. We like to emphasize that so that when you leave here you leave with memories of being part of a really good team,” Thomas continued.
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