Pontano’s Club Corner: The Camaraderie of the Rowan Archery Club

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Although the Rowan University archery club is one that is lesser-known, they’re not discouraged. The archery club competes with their pride for the Profs and for their love of the sport.

The members are a tight-knit group that knows how to compete at high levels, as they recently competed in the USA Archery Indoor Nationals competition in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Miles Alimario, a sophomore, described what it was like of being there.

“It was a challenge. That’s the most I’ve ever shot in the span of two days,” Alimario said. “It was 120 arrows, 60 arrows a day over the course of six hours, we were in the range of three hours each day.”

The club was formed in 2014 under Nick Klein and is now coached by Joel Gupta. They mainly shoot recurve indoor, but other disciplines like compound, barebow and bowhunter are welcome.

In 2019, Rowan archery went to the U.S Indoor Archery Championships in Fisherville, Virginia and this is the third consecutive year that the team has gone to nationals. Current club President Bryan Winkler, a senior, has been on this team since 2018, which allowed him to see this team grow and for him to step up and be the leader.

“I was one of the few people that showed incentive to want to do better and make the club do more,” Winkler said. “ I was the only one that really wanted to push the club to go farther. So I sort of decided to be the president from there.”

Winkler and his teammates have different backgrounds, levels of experience with archery, and disciplines of shooting. Winkler and Alimario shoot recurve, but Alimario started shooting when he was 16. Teammates Rob Robinson and Justin Vieira, a senior, both shoot compound and both started archery when they were young. Robinson started when he was 13 and Vieira started when he was 15.

Robinson is a current sophomore on the team who did not truly get a freshman season.

“I was really interested in my freshman year but, of course, nothing happened because of COVID,” Robinson said. “So when sophomore year came around, I saw all the sports being displayed out front on tables [at the Clubs Fair], and I had been interested in archery before throughout high school. And then I found the archery table, I started going to practices and now I’m here.”

With Winkler’s leadership, Rowan’s archery club has become a close group of people who have each other’s back.

“[The best part] I would have to say is these guys,” Vieira said. “They’re just fun to be around and I enjoy the company.” 

Overall, this is a club comprised of people with differences who come together as one for their love of archery. The archery club is not only for the experienced archers but also for anyone who wants to see what they can do in a target range.

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