Wildcat Weekly 35B /2022-23
Penn College archers set
Small, but loaded with talent and great drive.
That is how coach Dustin Bartron described this year’s Pennsylvania College of Technology archery team as it prepared for its outdoor season opener this Saturday and Sunday at the Eastern Regional Outdoor Championship in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
“Practices have been intense as we are transitioning into a new genre of competitive archery for a few of our team members. We are working on building their skills as they are learning and understanding the differences of outdoor target archery versus indoor target archery,” the third-year coach said.
“(We are) still one of the smaller teams competing, but we are stronger than in the past few seasons. We will have very competitive teams in male fixed pins and male compound and are looking to have a few all-region and all-American archers,” Bartron said.
The coach continued, “(Overall, our archers are) very talented. They love archery and to shoot their bows. They are willing to practice two times a day to prepare for tournaments.
“Archery requires a repeatable process. We need to work on developing each archer their own process that can be adapted to the conditions of each day.
“I am very excited to see this year’s team compete. I expect we will have archers finish in the top 10 in the nation. Our two teams (male fixed pins and male compound) will be ranked top 10 at the end of the season.”
Key returnees, according to Bartron, are sophomore Alexander Edwards, of Kutztown, and sophomore Jonathon Vough, of Athens, in male compound; sophomore Jansen Balmer, of Ephrata, in male bowhunter; sophomore Grant Walters, of Dover, in male barebow; and senior Alexis Burrell, of Danville, in female fixed pins.
One newcomer who is expected to contribute immediately is sophomore All-American Matthew Byrnes, of Manahawkin, New Jersey, a transfer from Atlantic Cape Community College, where he set a male compound national record for USA Archery in 2021 by scoring 695 out of 720 possible points during the 50-meter round of the Eastern Regional Collegiate Championships. Byrnes also was an Academic All-American in 2021.
Other newcomers include freshmen Emery Gunsallus, of Mill Hall, in men’s compound; Brady Fowkes, of Mayport; Gio Barbarossa, of Bridgeville; Cody Sky, of Myerstown; Sam Weber, of Erie; and Paul Calabro, of Stewartsville, New Jersey, in men’s fixed pins; Austin Richards, of Wellsboro, in men’s compound; and Destiny Morrison, of Oil City, in female compound.
During indoor nationals in February:
- In men’s fixed pins, Fowkes was fifth in a field of 86 with a 1,183 (the winning score was 1,194), while Balmer was 45th with a 1,132 and Richards was 47th with a 1,129.
- In men’s compound, Byrnes tied for 19th in a field of 92 with a score of 1,164 (the winning score was 1,195), while Edwards was 45th with a 1,134, Gunsallus was 57th with a 1,119 and Vough was 58th with a 1,118.
- In women’s fixed pins, Burrell was 34th in a field of 88 with a 1,074 (the winning score was 1,180).
- In men’s barebow, Walters was 38th in a field of 76 with a 680 (the winning score was 1,038).
- In women’s compound, Morrison was 67th in a field of 94 with a 1,053 (the winning score was 1,173).
In a two-event outdoor season, the team’s only other competition will come at the USA Archery Collegiate Target Nationals in Statesboro, Georgia, May 19-21.
At nationals a year ago, the men’s compound and fixed pins teams both reached the quarterfinals, while individually, sophomore Dyson Renn, of Hellam, reached the final 16 in men’s fixed pins.
Overall, the Wildcats placed 16th in a field of 23.
Historically since the sport was started at the college in 1997, teams have placed in the top 10 11 times, finishing as high as second in the nation in 2011 and 2012.
In all, 43 Wildcat archers have been awarded All-American status 88 times (based on a combination of results from the indoor and outdoor nationals), the most recent in 2018.
Saturday-Sunday, April 22-23 — Eastern Regional Outdoor Championship at Harrisonburg, Va.
Friday-Sunday, May 19-21 — USA Archery Collegiate Target Nationals at Statesboro, Ga.
For more about the United East, visit the conference website.
For additional information, visit the Wildcats Athletics website.