NEW YORK – The Columbia archery team had two top-five finishes at the United States Intercollegiate Archery Championships (USIAC) held on the campus of James Madison University, May 11-13. The recurve team finished with a bronze medal, while the compound team came in fourth overall. Individually, senior Sarah Chai led the Lions, capping an impressive career with a bronze medal in recurve, earning a spot on the US collegiate national team.
The recurve squad of Chai, senior Anna Harrington and Sarah Bernstein had a first round bye in the competition, and advanced to take on Dine College. The Lions won with ease, 7-3, advancing to the semifinals. There, host James Madison proved to be too much for Columbia, as JMU won, 6-1, to advance. Columbia moved on to the bronze medal match, where the Lions bested the team from the University of California, 10-4.
In the compound team rounds, Mary Quien, Sydney Shaefer and Gladys Velez-Caicedo also had a strong showing. The Lions beat the University of Connecticut in the first round, 4-2, and advanced to the quarterfinals to take on JMU. The Lions tied the higher seed, 6-6, and advanced with a 1-0 advantage in the tiebreak. In the semi-finals, the squad fell to eventual national champions Texas A&M, 16-6, and an 11-7 loss to Michigan State in the bronze medal match means the Lions finished fourth overall.
Individually, senior Sarah Chai capped her outstanding four-year career with a bronze medal performance in the recurve bracket. She opened the tournament with a 6-0 win over Ann Ruengvivatpant from Georgia Tech, advancing for another easy win, 6-2, over Alison Pain from Texas A&M. In her closest match of the tournament, Chai beat UCLA’s Arie Wong, 6-4, to advance to the quarterfinals. There, she faced off against teammate Anna Harrington, winning, 6-0. The semifinals saw Chai suffer her only loss of the tournament, to eventual champion Kayla DeBord of Texas A&M, 6-0. Chai rebounded in the bronze medal match, beating UC San Diego’s Stella Chen, 6-0, and finishing third overall in the nation.
Harrington, who advanced to the quarterfinals and finished eighth overall, had wins over archers from Stanford (Chelsey Bartlett and Amanda Le) and California (Madeline Elkins). All three of her early round wins were by dominant 6-0 scores. First-year Sarah Bernstein also fared well in the individual competition, coming in ninth overall, with two wins over athletes from Dine College, before falling to Stephanie Au from California.
In the compound competition, both Mary Quien and Sydney Shaefer finished in the top 20 in the nation. Quien was the top finisher, coming in 17th overall. She had a first round win over Amanda Oishi of Cal State Long Beach, 130-74, before falling to Lindsay Argyle from Weber State in the second round, 125-117. Shaefer also had a first round win, defeating Miranda Boes of Texas A&M 130-113, before falling in a heartbreakingly close match to Penn State’s Angela Moyer, 135-134. First-year Gladys Velez-Caicedo had a close loss in the first round, as she fell to Mitra Vijeh of California, 129-104.
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