University of the Cumberlands claim first overall National Team Championship title


May 22, 2022

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — The 2022 USA Collegiate National Archery Championships wrapped up today in Chula Vista, Calif., with the individual gold medal finals and mixed team competition.

For the first time in school history, Cumberlands University won the coveted National Team Championship award. The team has won over a dozen medals in addition to the title.

“I’m really proud of the hard work and dedication these young people have shown throughout the year. This is one of those goals that we can mark on our list,” proclaimed Principal of the University of the Cumberlands Coach Kris Strebeck. “At the start of the year we had a list of goals and this was the end goal. It took time, they worked hard, I love every single one of them and can’t wait to celebrate on the way back.

Clay Weaver Jr. of Cumberlands added, “It’s a great team win. When you look through the dashboard, we have dots everywhere. As the coach said, it was one of our goals since the start of the year, so to see the whole team come together and finish it is amazing.

The final awards this afternoon cap off the competition on another exciting year at the Collegiate Target Nationals. The team spirit was there and more than 500 archers, a record, took part in an intense competition.

In a heartbreaking turn of events, the Union College team’s vehicle was broken into and several teams had all of their equipment stolen late Saturday night. As a testament to the camaraderie of the archery community, other teams loaned their equipment so that Union College could continue to win silver in the Men’s Compound and Single Pin Men’s Individual Finals, and then participate in the mixed team round.

Other highlights include Junior Madison Cox of the University of the Cumberlands winning gold in women’s fixed bowling; Cox was looking for the podium at this event after winning the 3D and Indoor Nationals leading up to the final match against 2021 title winner Emily Dendinger of Pikeville University. “Winning this event means a lot to me. In first year we couldn’t shoot the outdoor nationals and last year we finished third. I really wanted this one this year,” Cox said. “I joked with my coach last year that it was my year to win all three – that was my goal for the year and I did it today. As a team, We are super excited. We did very well at this tournament and we hope it continues.

Cooper French of the University of Arizona had a perfect game to take first place in the men’s enclosure against Lane Brandt of Union College. “Overall it was a great weekend in Chula Vista – the weather was good, a bit windy. Some shots were complicated but overall it was a great weekend”, summarizes French. “I’m still on cloud nine after this match – it was great fun, a well organized tournament and a great shoot for sure.”

Texas A&M University’s Alex Gilliam battled teammate Stefan Savin to win the men’s individual recurve gold medal. “This weekend meant a lot to me – I had a great weekend. My shots were amazing and I love the atmosphere here,” Gilliam said. “Shooting with the team and against my teammate Also made it look like we were back at College Station shooting the practice range. So thanks and play them!

As the afternoon continued, the breeze began to sway the field in time for the mixed team gold medal games. Connor Moran and Rui Xu of the University of California at Irvine won first place in the barebow category. First-year Rui Xu commented, “It’s my first big competition this year, I’m pretty excited. The wind was pretty strong, but I think we did pretty well. I’m proud of both of us and our team.

Moran and Xu started the sport just a few months ago. UCI coach Chris Cheng added: “Both started in October. It’s their first year of filming and they’re doing absolutely amazing things. I look forward to them getting even better for years to come.

Complete the results of the competition are available on Between the ends and photos are available at American Archery Photo Site. The mixed team gold medal matches are available for replay on USA Archery YouTube.

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