Diné Warriors Score National Upset in Archery

Nov 15th, 2001 | By | Category: 13-2: The Power of Partnerships, Tribal College News
By Foster Gorman (head coach) and Greg Redhouse (assistant coach).

Armed with muscle, a traditional sense of tribal warfare, and technologically modified weapons, Diné College (DC) continued its 27-year tradition of excellence in archery this year. The college archers surpassed some of the best collegiate programs in the nation at the 2001 U.S. Inter-collegiate Archery Championships (USIAC) in Austin, TX, last May.

Despite being a junior college, DC regularly defeats larger, well-known colleges and universities. After three days of competition, DC pulled ahead of 18 different teams and went on to compete in the final team-elimination rounds.  In the men’s division, the tribal college team won third place by defeating Penn State University (PSU) by one point, making it the biggest upset of the tournament. The men’s team included Winston Brown, Terrence Williams, and Sheldon Harvey, who scored in the bulls-eye to overcome PSU. Individually ranking in fifth place, Winston Brown was inducted into the “Top-ten All-American team.”

In the women’s division, the lady-Warriors (Roshelle Bekaye, Brenda Harrison, and Crystal Dedmen) earned a fourth seated spot in the nation. They demonstrated their endurance as a three-woman team by taking on larger teams that could alternate with fresh archers. This was the first year when the tribal college had one of the top women’s teams. Roshelle Bekaye was honored as the “Best New Female Archer.”

Since 1974, DC archers have been the only Native American archers at the USIAC and have never finished lower than 10th in the nation.  More than 200 archers have passed through the tribal college archery program, and many have won recognition: state champions, U.S. Western Regional Champions, U.S. National Champions, Rookie of the Year awards, and All-American honors. Several have earned archery scholarships to four-year institutions. A non-Indian from Kentucky started the program at the tribal college in 1974.

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