HARRISONBURG, Va. - The Columbia archery had a strong showing at the East Regional portion of the 2011 U.S. Indoor National Championships on March 11-13 at James Madison University. The Lions' recurve shooters were impressive, as the trio of Sarah Chai, Sara Lavenhar and Anna Harrington won gold in the team competition with a combined total of 3113. Individually, Chai also won top honors in the region in a tight battle, edging her teammate Harrington by just one point.
The Indoor Nationals is one of the most important events for the team this year as the archers' score from this tournament will be combined with their scores at the United States Intercollegiate Archery Championships (USIAC) later this spring to determine who will earn All-America recognition.
Columbia's recurve shooters swept five of the top six spots in the collegiate division. Chai fired an impressive 532 in round one, and 541 in round two to finish with a total of 1073, one point ahead of her classmate Harrington who shot a 537 and 535 for a total of 1072. They were the only two recurve archers in the east to break to 1,000 point total in their division.
Maya Inamura and Lavenhar finished third and fourth in the east region. Inamura shot a 493 and 495 for 988, while Lavenhar's 487 and 481 combined for a 968. Donju Min's 904 ranked sixth overall, Marilyn He shot an 853 edging her teammate Aaqilah Chambers by one point as she had a total of 852. Rounding out the recurve shooters for the Lions was Kate Cwynar who shot a 715.
After all the regional scores were combined, Chai's 1073 was good enough for third nationally, while Harrington was just behind her ranking fourth in the country. Inamura also cracked the top-10 as her 988 was the 10th best total nationally. Texas A&M shooters Jennifer Nichols and Kayle DeBord snagged the top-two spots with 1156 and 1124, respectively.
The recurve team of Chai, Harrington and Lavenhar combined for a total of 3113 which ranked first in the region ahead of Atlantic Cape Community College (2574) and Penn College (2555).
In the compound division, Sydney Shaefer was the top shooter for Columbia after placing fourth in the east. Shaefer's first round total of 548 combined with her 556 for round two brought her tournament total to 1104, just one point shy of placing in the top-three. Gillian Kemmerer shot a 530 and 516 to finish with 1046, while Mary Quien's two rounds combined for a total of 1021.
Shaefer's 1104 was the 13th highest total nationally in the women's collegiate compound division.