Sonoma State's archery club has come a long way since starting by shooting at (and sometimes missing) an arrow net in the school's field house. The club won a silver medal in the USA Archery National Collegiate Championship this weekend, it's first national medal since the club began only three years ago. And three of SSU's six archers were named to the USA Archery Collegiate All American Team.
More than 250 archers from 34 schools participated in the tournament at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. Sonoma State's won silver in the barebow men's team category, shooting with a traditional one-piece style bow. The team just missed a bronze medal in the barebow mixed team, falling to Stanford in the third-place match.
Since archery is not recognized as an official NCAA sport, Sonoma State's club competes against large schools like Stanford and University of California Los Angeles at tournaments like this.
SSU got to demonstrate more than just bow skills at the tournament--club president Shawn Kelley showed he's pretty good with an ax too. The music major was chosen to open the tournament with an electric guitar rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. "It was a real musical treat from some Sonoma State talent for those in attendance," said archery club president and SSU Spanish professor Jeffrey Reeder.
Sonoma state's six-person team includes four men (Roberto Cacho, Shawn Kelley, John Luis and Quinten Rodriguez) and two women (Amanda Saiki and Mandy Young). They've sniffed the podium twice--Kelley and Saiki took 4th in the mixed team category at last year's Collegiate Nationals, and Roberto Cacho finished 4th at the Intercollegiate Regionals this April--but this is their first medal finish.
Saiki and Young were named to the All-American bare bow female team, and Rodriguez was named to the All-American bare bow male team.