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Right on target: ASU archery team wins at national competition

Sun Devil Archery team members

Molly Nugent, Nathan Yamaguchi and Stephanie Phlipot represent the ASU archery team.

July 25, 2018

Editor's note: The archery team is one of more than 800 student organizations that will be represented at Passport to ASU on Aug. 15, where students can explore all that campus life has to offer. Students can also explore clubs and teams at SunDevilSync.

ASU’s archery team brought home the gold at the National Outdoor Collegiate Championships earlier this summer.

The six-person team entered three archers into the May 17 competition: sophomore Molly Nugent and senior Nathan Yamaguchi, both marketing majors in the W. P. Carey School of Business, and junior Stephanie Phlipot, a microbiology and biochemistry double major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Yamaguchi said that although the team is small compared with other schools from around the country, they keep up when it comes to scores.

“What we lack in numbers, we make up for in quality,” he said.

Quality is right: Nugent and Yamaguchi won gold in the mixed recurve category, named for the mixed-gender teams and the shape of the bow. Yamaguchi also won bronze in the male recurve category.

In overall individual qualifying scores throughout the tournament, Yamaguchi placed second, Nugent fourth and  Phlipot 12th.

The team did well despite scattered storms at the tournament, which was held in Newberry, Florida. And getting to connect with fellow archers is a unique experience.

“Many of the competitors you will meet again and again, so you get to know so many people from around the country and around the world,” Nugent said. “I like the fact that we’re such a tight-knit group because someone is always willing to lend a hand.”

Competitions also allow archers to work as a team, rather than as individuals.

Sun Devil Archery competition

Senior Nathan Yamaguchi and sophomore Molly Nugent at the National Outdoor Collegiate Championships in Newberry, Florida. Photo courtesy of Gary Yamaguchi

“College archery is unique in that it promotes more team camaraderie,” Phlipot said. “You get to cheer on your teammates and represent a team.”

For Yamaguchi, college archery has given him the chance to fall back in love with the sport. After practicing at the Olympic training center, he said the sport began to feel more like a job.

“Being able to compete with people who shoot purely for the love of the sport is something that really changed the way that I view competitions,” Yamaguchi said. “I’m having more fun now than I ever had before.”

Written by Bryan Pietsch

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