The Michigan State Archery team hit a bullseye this spring as three archers received All-American honors. Two of them were named Academic All-Americans and Head Coach Glen Bennett was named the USA Archery 2020 North Region Coach of the Year.
“For me it was exciting but I think it speaks more for our program,” said Bennett. “It’s not about me it’s about team work doing the right things and a lot of schools are seeing this as a viable varsity sport.”
For archer, Elizabeth Litwin, her first year at Michigan State gave her the experience she’s been looking for while also achieving a 4.0 GPA, making her one of the Academic All-Americans.
“It feels definitely good that my work is recognized cause it definitely has been a lot harder being in college doing archery,” said Litwin. “Especially for me cause this is my first year of college it felt kinda nice to know that I was keeping up to the same standard in both those areas of my life because it was really important for me to keep training really hard but also to do well in my classes.”
The other USA Archery Academic All-American is Georgia Artzberger and the USA Archery All-American is Valerie Aten. The MSU Archery team is a club program that’s often ranked nationally as one of the top ten schools in the country while getting to practice at the Demmer Center, one of the best archery facilities. The awards are always appreciated but for these Spartan archers, their education is what matters most.
“School works gotta come first I don’t I don’t care if you’re shooting great you’re shooting great but school work gotta come first no if, ands, or buts about it,” said Bennett.
“That’s really one of the main reasons I chose to go to MSU, archery was a big factor for me as well as the academic program,” said Litwin. “It’s definitely nice to know that he (Coach Bennett) prioritizes the academics as well as give you some really good feedback on the range.”
Coaching the hard work of the sport and the discipline it takes it succeed.
“It’s hard sometimes, it’s very hard to do the right thing but it’s always right,” said Bennett.
Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer lifted the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order to allow gatherings of up to 100 people, meaning the Demmer Center can reopen. Spartans will be coming back to East Lansing throughout the summer to continue their training before the fall semester.
The team will be bolstered by incoming freshmen, Joonsuh Oh, the best high school archer in the country. Oh is currently training for the Olympic trials to be part of Team USA at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.