Chai Qualifies for World Team Trials at Easton Foundations Gator Cup
Courtesy: Columbia University Athletics/Mike McLaughlin

NEWBERRY, FLA. - The Columbia archery team recently competed at the 2011 Easton Foundations Gator Cup held at the Easton-Newberry Sports Complex in Newberry, Fla. The Gator Cup is one of the premier archery tournaments of the year and featured some of the top archers from across the country in both the Olympic (Recurve) and Compound divisions.  The tournament, which took place April 21-23, also served as the first World Archery Championships team trials.

Sarah Chai was the Lions' top finisher in the qualifying round for the recurve division, ranking 10th overall.  The junior shot an impressive 1,247 including 35 10's and 11 bull's-eyes.  Because two of the archers in the top-10 were non-American shooters, Chai's score ranked eighth overall out of the USA shooters, qualifying her for the World Team Trials.

In the head-to-head elimination round, Chai advanced to the round of 16 after defeating Janice Clark 6-2, but was eliminated by Lori Cieslinski, the seventh seed, by a score of 6-2.

Anna Harrington also advanced to the round of 16 after ranking 22nd overall in the qualifier with a combined total of 1,165.  Harrington won her first match 7-1 against her teammate Aaqilah Chambers before upsetting 11th seeded Lya Solano 6-4.  She was ultimately eliminated by Heather Koehl, the sixth seed, 6-2.

Also competing in the recurve division was Chambers who shot an 824, Marilyn He who finished with an 842 and Maya Inamura who shot a 986 in the qualifying round.

In the compound division, Sydney Shaefer cracked the top-20 by shooting a 1,253, good enough for 19th overall. The junior advanced to the round of 32 after a first round bye, but was edged  134-128 by Mackenzie Kieborz in the elimination round.

Gillian Kemmerer and Mary Quien also were eliminated in the round of 32 after shooting 1,110 and 1,215 respectively in the qualifying round.

Columbia will close out the outdoor season at the 2011 United States Intercollegiate Archery Championships (USIAC) on May 19-22 in Harrisonburg, Va.