Penn College archers at national event

A year ago with a mostly inexperienced squad, the Pennsylvania College of Technology archery team ended eighth in the nation, its highest finish in nearly a decade. But things should be different this year.

“The outlook on our overall performance is going to be pretty high. We’re going to field all of the teams, with the exception of female recurve, so this year I predict we’re going to be quite a few places higher,” coach Chad Karstetter said. “With every year, you get a little more experience on the national level and they are performing very well this year, so far, so I think we’re going to do very well.”

This year’s nationals this weekend are being hosted by UC San Diego at the Easton Archery Center of Excellence in Chula Vista, California, where more than 400 archers representing 40 to 50 colleges and universities will compete.

Commenting on his team’s season thus far, Karstetter said, “We had a really good showing in Eastern Regionals that we hosted (April 22-23). The weather hasn’t cooperated very well since then, but we have been outside a few times and worked on a few little details that we needed to work on in the team rounds.

Official practice and opening ceremonies were held on Thursday. On Friday was a 72-arrow qualifying round with mixed team rounds following. Another 72-arrow qualifying round was held on Saturday prior to the official team rounds later that day. Competition wraps up today with the Olympic individual knockout round.

Competing for Penn College are:

Male bowhunter –Senior Andrew Rupp, of Dayton; sophomore Adam Thomas, of Shade Gap; freshman John Kleinfelter, of Lebanon; and junior Justin Rinehimer, of Mountain Top.

Male compound — Senior Markus Weber, of La Plata, Maryland; sophomore Tim Lamont, of Eldred; junior Tyler Schoonover, of Bradford; sophomore Logan Booth, of New Kensington; and freshman Aaron Cummings, of Mountville.

Male recurve — Junior Nicholas Daniels, of Levittown; sophomore Tanner Huff, of Altoona; and freshman Josh Maring, of Brookville.

Female bowhunter –Sophomores Erica Gause, of Bloomsburg; Stephanie Plummer, of Port Matilda; and Sarah Decker, of Williamsport.

Female compound –Junior Chelsea Douglass, of East Greenville; sophomore Sabrina Toplovich, of Spring Creek; and freshman Rylee Butler, of Bellefonte.

Female recurve — sophomore Kaylee Burk, of Hermitage.

Weber won the male compound national championship a year ago and Rupp and Gause teamed for first place in the mixed bowhunter event. Also last season, Weber, Gause, Rupp, Lamont and Schoonover earned All-American status as a result of their combined indoor and outdoor national scores and the coach, who is assisted by Dustin Bartron, anticipates more top accolades this year.

“There is a potential to have another five to seven All-Americans if it all works out and they shoot well,” Karstetter said.

“(We) compete on the East Coast against the same (archers) it seems week-in and week-out. When you get out to the nationals, when they put everybody into one big mix with the best-of-the-best from each school, it’s hard to say who is going to really shoot well at an outdoor event, but going into that event, with the indoor scores that we have, we have the potentials for (several) All-Americans,” the coach, in his 15th season, continued.

“Markus (Weber) excels in that type of tournament where you shoot head-to-head against each archer. He has done that the last few years for us and although he might not have won, he’s always right up there in the top. Andrew (Rupp) too. They always excel in head-to-head competition. They really feed on that pressure,” Karstetter said.

“It takes a very strong mental game when you get to this level, especially in the team and individual rounds. It is single elimination and you have to have your head in the game the whole time. We have done very well this year with our team rounds and individuals, so I think these guys are ready,” the coach added.

In their final tune-up leading to nationals, the Wildcats hosted the Eastern Regional Outdoor Collegiate Championships April 22-23 and had four first-place finishes, four seconds, three thirds and six All-East Team selections.

“The weekend could not have turned out better for our only home match of the season,” Karstetter said. “There was a little rain and it was cool on Saturday but very little wind. And we had a perfect day on Sunday for archery.”

In all, 111 archers from 17 colleges and universities competed. Sunday’s great weather also gave local spectators a good opportunity to witness the action, the coach, in his 15th season, said.

Claiming firsts for Penn College were:

• Andrew Rupp, of Dayton, in male bowhunter

• Markus Weber, of LaPlata, Maryland, and Chelsea Douglass, of East Greenville, in mixed compound

• Weber; Tyler Schoonover, of Bradford; Tim Lamont, of Eldred, in male compound team

• Rupp; John Kleinfelter, of Lebanon; Adam Thomas, of Shade Gap, in male bowhunter team.

Finishing second were:

• Weber in male compound

• Tanner Huff, of Altoona, and Kaylee Burk, of Hermitage, in mixed recurve

• Erica Gause, of Bloomsburg; Stephanie Plummer, of Port Matilda; Sarah Decker, of Williamsport, in female bowhunter team

• Douglass; Sabrina Toplovich, of Spring Creek; Rylee Butler, of Bellefonte, in female compound team.

Placing third were:

• Douglass in female compound

• Rupp and Gause in mixed compound

• Huff; Nicholas Daniels, of Levittown; Josh Maring, of Brookville, in male recurve team.

Earning All-East honors as a combination of their indoor regional and outdoor qualifying scores were: Douglass, Weber, Gause, Rupp, Kleinfelter and Thomas.

“We had a few personal bests from Toplovich, Butler and Huff and their hard work is starting to show. Some of this credit needs to go to my assistant coach, Dustin Bartron, who spends countless hours at the range working with our athletes. I am very thankful to have him on the staff,” Karstetter added.