Burgettstown’s Justin Bradley and his girlfriend, Kannsas Michaels, will be headed on a trip to Europe.
Like many people their age, the two California University students are looking forward to getting away for a little summer vacation. But this will be a business trip, as well.
Bradley and Michaels, both members of California Archery Club, qualified to represent the United States against 33 other nations in the World University Championships, which run July 2 through 5 in Legnica, Poland.
Bradley and Michaels qualified to represent the United States by competing and finishing high enough in the compound bow round-robin U.S. trials in May in Yankton, S.D. Bradley also won the trials in 2013, while Michaels qualified in the female compound bow by finishing second.
With his first-place finish, Bradley earned captain’s honors for the men’s team.
The duo not only has an opportunity to win individual and team championships, they could also pair to win the mixed team title, which takes high scores from the top male and female shooter on each team.
“That would be pretty cool,” said the 21-year-old Bradley, who has been shooting a bow since he was three.
The California University Archery Club isn’t sanctioned as an NCAA sport. Because there are no size classifications, the Cal students compete against archers from much larger schools. Bradley’s teammates on the U.S. team hail from Utah State and Southern Utah, while Michaels’ three-woman team includes a Michigan State underclassman and another from Wayne State.
“I saw a note that they hold the world championships every two years and I thought I had a good chance to make it,” said Bradley, who just completed his junior year as a corporate and homeland security major. “Then it kind of hit me that I was going to be team captain based on my finish. I was just hoping to qualify.”
Not bad for a club team that shoots once per week on Monday nights at the Charleroi Archery Club.
“We usually have about 18 kids that shoot every week,” said Bradley, who is vice president of the club. “It’s like any other club. But we had five members who competed in the championships.”
Bradley has been shooting a bow for nearly 20 years and also enjoys hunting and fishing.
Michaels is heading into her junior year as a wildlife and fisheries biology major.
• A pair of local teams dominated the Pennsylvania Sporting Clays State Championships recently in Tunkhannock, taking home top honors in five of six divisions.
The Hunting Hills Hawkeyes, based in Greene County, won the JV, Intermediate Advanced, Intermediate Entry and Rookie divisions, beating out 10 other teams.
California Hill Gun Club’s Smokin Guns’ Jon Difilippo won the Collegiate Division with a score of 91 of 100 to win in a shootout.
Capuring the JV Division were Luke Pecjak, Hunter Scott and William Luckey with a score of 233 of 300.
Cameron Cernuska, Zack Abbott and Louis Dobish won the Intermediate Advanced title with a 223.
Intermediate Entry winners were John Dirchow, Arran Hinerman and Hunter Guthrie with a 209.
And Tucker Hughes, Thaine Miller and Robert Dillon III captured top honors in the Rookie Division with a 169.
Outdoors Editor F. Dale Lolley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.