Sydney Sullenberger competed in the Junior Olympic Archery Development national championship in July, bringing home gold.

Valrico archer Sydney Sullenberger was named world archery champion and brought home gold for the third year in a row in the Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) national championship in July.

The Columbia University sophomore traveled to Limerick, Ireland for the World Archery Youth Championship, where she qualified as the top U.S. female archer. After the initial qualification, she won all of her matches to be named the world champion for the compound under 21 women’s event.

Sullenberger also competed in the team event with two of her teammates, where they won third place in the event.

“The three of us shoot against other countries in a bracket-style system. We were able to win our matches, and we made it to the bronze medal match,” Sullenberger said about the World Archery Youth Championship. “We got to shoot on that final stage as a team of three together and we finished third, so we got that bronze medal.”

After her success in Ireland, she traveled to Iowa the next week for the JOAD championship, the final event in a five-part competition series. Sullenberger finished first in both the qualifier rounds and earned gold in the under-21 national championship.

“A lot of hard work has gone into this. I’ve pretty much dedicated my whole life to the sport for the last nine years,” Sullenberger said. “So, to see that hard work pay off, and to reiterate the fact that I was doing all that I needed to do and my trust in myself, my equipment and in the whole journey, is what was ultimately able to lead me to win those two championships.”

The 19-year-old archer was also named captain of her team at Columbia University, which is the only NCAA D-I archery program. Sullenberger said her coaches, Derek Davis at Columbia University and Diane Watson, have been an integral part of her success.

“Having completed my first year on that team really gave me the opportunity to train and have access to all the necessary training time and equipment to help me pursue these goals,” Sullenberger said.

To follow Sullenberger’s journey, visit her ‘Sydney Sullenberger’s Archery’ Facebook page.

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.