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May 18, 2024

Weather delay fails to dampen the spirit or the diminish the drama on day two of Collegiate Target Nationals

STATESBORO, Ga. – Storms, sunshine, a lengthy delay and team matches under floodlights, a long and challenging day two of the 2024 USA Archery Collegiate Target Nationals pretty much had it all.

There were scares for top seeds, repeat winners and a barebow convert crowned collegiate champion.

Official Team Rounds wrapped up the day, with those taking place after the cookout and under the lights at Georgia Southern University, making for quite the spectacle.

Earlier, eliminations were halted due to severe weather in the area, which led to an almost six-hour delay. When play resumed, we witnessed something rather special as Venugopal Kunnavakkam (Texas A&M University)took gold in the barebow men. What made it such a special win was that he only learned a few weeks back that he would be switched from his favored recurve, and only picked up a barebow last Monday!

Barebow women was won by Maggie Brensinger (University of Pikeville), just a day after she had set a new world record (pending verification) in qualification, but she was pushed all the way in the gold medal match. Leading 5-1 after three ends, Brensinger was taken to a one arrow shootoff by Kennadi Mayer (Kentucky Christian University Archery).

Micheal Plummer (Mount Marty University) showed that last year’s victory was no fluke as he defeated top seed Trenton Cowles (Texas A&M University) 6-0 in the semifinal, before retaining his recurve men’s title with a 6-4 win over Cowles’ teammate Alex Gilliam in the gold medal match. Plummer took the final set, with the match level at 4-4, by shooting a maximum. The same four from 2023 all reached the semifinal stage again.

Another defending champion made it back-to-back success as Kimber Wheeler (University of the Cumberlands) beat Sara Harrell (Wabash Valley College) 144-140 in fixed pins women.

The third repeat champion was Sawyer Sullivan (Texas A&M) in compound men. He fired in a 149, dropping a point on the final end, to overcome his good friend Cole Zeug (University of the Cumberlands). Bronze went to Matthew Russell (University of Pikeville). That trio of talent took gold as a team at the World Archery Youth Championships in Spain five years ago.

The roles were reversed in the compound women. Two archers also familiar with one another, Madison Cox (University of the Cumberlands) and Carson Krahe (Texas A&M) were the pair in question, with Cox claiming gold thanks to a 146-143 margin.

Texas A&M (TAMU) and the University of the Cumberlands split the other two individual gold medal matches. TAMU took the recurve women’s title thanks to a 7-1 win for Alyssa Artz over Olivia Hale (University of Pikeville), with top seed Connor Mullis claiming honors in fixed pins men, defeating Matthew Steward 143-130.

Both TAMU and the University of the Cumberlands dominated the Official Team Rounds, with each claiming gold in three of the eight categories. University of Pikeville (barebow women) and Columbia University (recurve women) each took gold in one category.                        

Mixed Team matches will bring the curtain down on the 2024 Collegiate Target Nationals on Sunday. The gold medal matches are due to be broadcast live on USA Archery’s Facebook and YouTube channels, from 11.30am ET (subject to change).

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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