During three-days of blustery winds at the National Collegiate Archery (NCA) Championships T-Birds didn’t get blown off course and three archers finished in the top of their divisions after competing in six rounds of archery competitions hosted by Southern Utah University May 17-19.
Kent Haslem, a junior political science, placed first in men’s compound, out shooting last year’s world champion. Qixiong Sun, sophomore mathematics major from Qing Dao, China, placed second in men’s recurve. Sun was tied for all six rounds of shooting and in a tiebreaker round fell short and lost by a margin of a point to Anthony Don from University of Arizona. Sun also placed third with Breanna Halverson, a junior continuing education major, in the mixed recurve division.
Both Haslem and Sun have gained All-American Archery status with their wins. For Sun, this is his second year achieving this statue but for Haslem’s this his first year competitively shooting and receiving this status.
Not only did these T-Birds do well on the field, but also off the field they reached high honors with Haslem and Sun receiving Academic Archery Honors. This requires archers to place in the top 25 percent in both the indoor and outdoor championships and then the top ten archers out of that 25 percent is given the honor based on highest GPA.
Competing against more than 300 students from across the nation, SUU had six students shooting and according to archery coach Ed Eliason, they were a pack not to be trifled with.
“All six of my archers had not only sacrificed countless hours practicing their craft but each one has a natural talent and ease to this sport. I walked away from that tournament proud of each one and am excited for what next year has to offer,” said Eliason.
The NCA Championships included seven divisions of competition: men’s and women’s compound, men’s and women’s recurve, men’s and women’s bow hunter, and best team all-around. Archers shot from a distance of 50-meters for recurve and bow hunter and 75-meters for compound. SUU hosted the 2013 championships and will host 2014 championships.