Trojan Archery’s 2019-2020 Year in Review: Celebrating our Achivements in Education and Competition

As the academic year is coming to a close, we’d like to give a huge shoutout and thank you to our outgoing 2019-2020 Executive Board for their achievements during Trojan Archery’s 92nd year as a USC organization.

From Top Left to Top Right: Dan Kwasniewski (Director of Special Projects), Erin Ewalt (Treasurer), Katherine Morrison (Secretary), Mac Whitaker (Co-President), Kevin Yan (Webmaster), Winston Wei (Armorer)

From Bottom Left to Bottom Right: Elizabeth Loxterkamp (Co-President), Michelle DeMers (Team Captain/Team Manager), Lexie Chu (Director of External Relations), Diego Montano (Armorer), Caesar Cui (Team Captain), Simon Trinh (Director of Education)
From Top Left to Top Right: Dan Kwasniewski (Director of Special Projects), Erin Ewalt (Treasurer), Katherine Morrison (Secretary), Mac Whitaker (Co-President), Kevin Yan (Webmaster), Winston Wei (Armorer)

From Bottom Left to Bottom Right: Elizabeth Loxterkamp (Co-President), Michelle DeMers (Team Captain/Team Manager), Lexie Chu (Director of External Relations), Diego Montano (Armorer), Caesar Cui (Team Captain), Simon Trinh (Director of Education)

The 2019-2020 Board focused their efforts on building a stronger archery curriculum to help introduce more students to archery and helping our seasoned archers advance further in their training. In addition, our educational program this year helped more of our archers make the jump from recreational shooting to competitive shooting.

And that’s not all! Here are some of this year’s accomplishments and highlights, thanks to our club’s leaders and coaches.

Education & Training Results

Having welcomed our largest amount of archers yet, our club membership boomed – along with a growing interest in competitions! Many of our first-time archers began training and it was all hands on deck for our education team made up of 14 instructors and 7 coaches.

While our on-campus instructor team helped more archers make the jump from recreational to competitive shooting, our competitive team has been supported by the largest coaching staff our club has had.

Our coaching team dedicated their time to helping archers target their areas of improvement and increase their mental game. From helping create individual training plans, keeping tabs on each archer’s personal goals and needs, to assigning personal drills and challenges, the coaches developed an effective hands-on approach to helping our team succeed.

Coaches Alex Aloia and Dan Kwasniewski developed and hosted monthly workshops throughout the year to help refresh experienced archers and teach new archers the basics of form, mental management, recovery, and outdoor preparation. In addition, Coach Max Zade held a strength training and injury prevention workshop and Club President Mac led a stringwalking workshop for barebow archers. 

Coach Alex spearheaded a new approach to taking care of our athletes – by focusing on mental management. Every step of the way, she provided many resources and her support to help our athletes stay cool, calm, and collected on the line. A huge congratulations to Coach Alex’s for her efforts, as they have made our team perform better at competitions, practices, and in their academics.

Thanks to our former Director of Education Huy Phan and outgoing Director of Education Simon Trinh, we have added compound shooting to our on-campus curriculum. We have been able to provide many first-time archers the ability to try compound and more educational support than ever. Incoming Team Captain Diego Montano supported many recreational compound archers in their training and bow maintenance, while Coach Luke Dever and Coach Alex helped their growing compound team quickly advance as archers.

With all of our coaches’ hard work, we have seen the results in our team this year. Trojan Archery has sent our largest teams to indoor competitions with more national recognition than we’ve ever experienced.

Representing USC across all four bow style divisions, our team regionally placed 3rd overall in Southern California and boasts the first USA Archery All-American Team member since 2008. Read on about Trojan Archery Club President Mac Whitaker’s national and international success.

Our coaches worked together as a strong, dynamic unit up until the end of the in-person school year. Preparing our archers for outdoor season, the coaches challenged our archers mentally and physically – so they could be prepared for anything. As we look to future competitions, the team is ready to put their new skills to use.

Thank you, Coaches! We owe our competitive success to you!

Competitive Team Development

This year, our Team Captains Michelle DeMers (Olympic Recurve/Compound) and Caesar Cui (Barebow) worked behind the scenes to ensure that each archer had the support they needed for each tournament, both physically and mentally.

If our accomplishments at the tournaments was not indication enough, then perhaps the smiles on the faces of our archers and memories we all hold from each of these competitions are the ultimate proof of the success of the 2019-2020 Competitive Team.

With two appointed Team Captains this year, Trojan Archery helped support 40 archers compete – many of them being first-time competitors. From Day 1, our team captains encouraged interested students to think about competing and worked to build a welcoming environment where team and club members could relish in the excitement of archery together.

Lastly, we are proud to announce that thanks to Michelle and Caesar, Trojan Archery has also been accepted to USA Archery’s Club Excellence program!

Under the mentorship of USA Archery, the Club Excellence Program is a unique 9-month learning experience available to select USA Archery clubs and their coaching staff. Similar to USA Archery’s Regional Elite Development Program and the Resident Athlete Program, the Club Excellence program is structured for developing clubs, coaches, and athletes to be nationally and internationally competitive. We are incredibly grateful for USA Archery’s continued support of our club.

Trojan Archery in the USC Community

USC’s Physical Education department debuted the first official USC archery class (PHED-148) in Fall 2019. PhD Candidate/Coach Dan Kwasniewski developed the course, while Coach Terri Ashley-MacQuarrie stepped into the role of Professor and led the 75 students. This year, all four classes had the maximum amount of students for each session! The students learned the basics of form and physical conditioning, eventually working their way up to shooting barebow at 18m for a 300 Round as their final. Though the spring semester was cut short, congratulations to all involved for a successful academic year!

Our leadership team worked hard to improve our club’s presence on campus. We worked closely with the USC Recreational Sports Council every step of the way – from recruitment, to our first club practices, and to our tournaments. We appreciate RCC’s support and hope to continue working with them to help introduce the USC community to more incredible recreational sports and student organizations. 

To support all of our current and prospective members, our communications team has been working hard to create a new and improved website and newsletter. Secretary Katherine Morrison, Director of External Relations Lexie Chu, and Webmaster Kevin Yan worked tirelessly to increase our accessibility to the USC community and prospective archers. 

This year’s first 300 Round!

Through our newsletter, we welcomed more than 350 USC students to our on-campus club practices for free archery lessons.

With the help of our USA Archery Level 2 Instructor staff, 80 of these students became club members. Many of them quickly advanced to become dedicated barebow and compound archers on our competitive team. We are excited to have helped more recreational archers take the first steps to becoming competitive shooters. Congratulations to the Team Captains for making the club-to-team transition more accessible and approachable than before!

From Left to Right: Dan Kwasniewski, Simon Trinh, Aadi Ghildiyal, Katherine Morrison, Lexie Chu, Mac Whitaker, Michelle DeMers, Winston Wei, Caesar Cui, Kevin Yan, Erin Ewalt, Brandon Chung
From Left to Right: Dan Kwasniewski, Simon Trinh, Aadi Ghildiyal, Katherine Morrison, Lexie Chu, Mac Whitaker, Michelle DeMers, Winston Wei, Caesar Cui, Kevin Yan, Erin Ewalt, Brandon Chung

Not Pictured: Weining Li, Lisa Welter, Shivam Kardani, Olivia Lin, Shirley Yu, Henry Scholefield, Diego Montano, Yash Tripathi, Anderson Lin

We are also excited to announce that we have added more USA Archery Certified instructors to our teaching ranks this year. Our coaches and Director of Education helped 13 of our most dedicated archers complete the USA Archery Level 2 Instructor Certification course – so they can teach new archers the way of the bow! In addition, Coach Alex received her USAA L3 Coach Certification. Congratulations to all for their educational achievements!

Another goal of ours was to connect with our communities – especially at home in Southern California! We had the chance to collaborate with student organizations on campus – and even USC’s own Department of Public Safety! Though the year was cut short, we hope to reconnect with other regional collegiate archery clubs and their teams for a joint practice in the near future! (CSUN, UCI, UCLA, and CSULB – we’re looking at you!)

Trojan Archery: At Home Edition

Even though spring and summer competitions have been postponed, our team members have been practicing from home – from California to China! Our team has held weekly hangouts, remote practices, and coach check-ins, but hopes to return to USC in the Fall.

As the school year comes to a close, we are sadly saying goodbye to nine of our team members. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

Finally, we’d like to direct all of our friends and family to our Facebook group. Join us to keep in touch with the Trojan Archery community and of course… SHOOT ON!

Have a great summer!

– The Trojan Archery 2019-2020 E-Board

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