This past weekend, Trojan Archery attended the National Outdoor Collegiate Championships (NOCC) in Dublin, Ohio. This tournament brought together over 60 collegiate archery programs from around the nation and gave our archers the opportunity to compete in an environment they had never experienced before. The Trojan archers that attended the event, Aadi Ghildiyal, Dan Kwasniewski, Elizabeth Loxterkamp, and Michelle DeMers (all Olympic Recurve archers), shot in heat, humidity, rain, and wind. Despite these challenges, we are proud to say that our team performed well and fought on during qualification rounds, team and mixed team events, and single eliminations.
Both Dan and Aadi placed in the top 20 archers in their respective divisions following qualification rounds, and Michelle placed in the top 25% in the nation for collegiate archery (National Indoor + NOCC). Our mixed team, Aadi and Dan, and our women’s team, Aadi, Elizabeth, and Michelle, shot strong during their team rounds, and both teams were ultimately eliminated in their respective quarter finals. We look forward to emphasizing team and mixed team events in our training for next season and cannot wait to see how our teams perform in the coming years. During the elimination rounds on the final day of the tournament, our archers battled more than just the regular stresses of the sport due to extreme and fairly unpredictable winds, sometimes enduring gusts up to 45 mph. While the wind brought frustration to many archers on the field, our archers found clarity in their shots. Dan made it past the first round of eliminations, and was eliminated in the 1/16th round by the 3rd seed from the University of Texas. Aadi proved to be an upset to her opponents, and fought on until she was eliminated in the 1/8th round by a former USAT member now attending Texas A&M. Michelle, who was ranked 21st overall during qualifications, also served as an upset to her opponents, making it to the quarterfinals by eliminating the West Region Collegiate Champion in the 1/8 round. Ultimately, Michelle was awarded 8th place in her division at NOCC, which was particularly exciting for the team because this was awarded at the Banquet on the last day of the event. This is the first time Trojan Archery has had a female archer place in the top 8 nationally, let alone 3 in the top 20. It was wonderful to see our archers fight on during this tournament, and even more wonderful to see that although we sent a small team of four archers to NOCC, we still placed in the top 50% out of all the 60 teams at the competition despite fielding only 4 archers where most schools averaged 10-15.
Upon the conclusion of this tournament, we find ourselves extremely thankful for the monetary donations and support from our sponsor, FivicsUSA, and our donors during our Ignite Campaign. Their help undoubtedly made attending this tournament possible for our archers. We also offer our thanks to all coaches, and a special thank you to Coach Terri who attended this tournament with our archers. Without her support, the success that our team experienced would not have been possible. We look forward to future training with our coaches and anticipate even more successful seasons to come! And of course, just as our archers did this past weekend, we encourage our community to Fight On!