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HARRISONBURG, Virginia - USA Archery's Collegiate Archery Program may be less than a year old, but archers came out in strong numbers to participate in the organization's National Outdoor Collegiate Championships (NOCC). Hosted by James Madison University, the event has attracted 254 archers from 34 different colleges and universities.
What makes NOCC different from other national archery tournaments? For starters, a very strong team presence. The event, which kicked off on Thursday with official practice and a program meeting, saw tremendous team pride as schools walked onto the field carrying team banners and wearing team uniforms with pride. Archers from California to Connecticut and many states in between met up with old friends and made new ones as they took to the field to celebrate their love for archery.
Competition began Friday with the first 72 arrows of the qualification round, which will take place over two days. The second event of the day was a fast-paced mixed team round in which mixed-gender teams of two archers compete against other teams shooting the same equipment style. Archers are eligible to compete with compound, barebow, recurve and bowhunter-style equipment setups for the NOCC tournament.
Today's mixed team event was competed through to the gold and bronze medal finals. The barebow mixed team gold medal went to the University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA), following a tiebreaker with silver medalists Georgia Southern University, while Stanford University won bronze over Sonoma State University. In the bowhunter division, Penn College won gold over Michigan State University; host school James Madison University bested Texas A&M.
The University of South Carolina shot their way to the top of the podium versus University of Connecticut in the compound mixed team event. Joining them: bronze medalists Michigan State University, who managed to stop UCLA for the bronze. In the recurve event, it was the University of California - Davis who scored the gold medal, outshooting Texas A&M University; home team James Madison University won bronze in their match versus University of Connecticut.
Up next at NOCC: the second half of qualifications, followed by team competition, on Saturday; and individual elimination rounds and awards on Sunday. Follow live scores here throughout the event, and check out USA Archery's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for photos and more.
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