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10/3/2012 2:28:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Photo by Kacie Thrift
Cashmere High School graduate Anya Tronson was a great athlete for the Bulldogs. She competed at the state level for soccer, basketball, and track. Her senior year she placed second in state in the javelin and the team won overall. She was also named an All-State soccer player her junior and senior year.
Photo by Kacie Thrift
Anya Tronson gained a great amount of experience while playing sports at Cashmere. She used that experience to push herself through college athletics at Biola University. She went on to become an athletic trainer for CATZ and now trains Olympic athletes.
Cashmere grad trains Olympic athletes
Kacie Thrift
Staff Writer



Cashmere High School graduate Anya Tronson believes her dream started the day she was born. Living in a household with a coach helped set up her attitude on the way she wanted to live her life and fulfill her dreams.

When someone asked how she handled living with a coach she responded, "It's the best thing possible because at least I know what's going on and he is going to say this is how it is."

In 1992, Tronson was sitting indoors watching the Barcelona Olympics while everyone else was outside enjoying the sun.

"I was glued to the TV because I wanted to see them [U.S. swim team} win. This passion came over me of oh my gosh I want to do that," Tronson said.

As a little girl, she ran outside and explained to her parents how she could never again miss a swim meet because she had to train. After a while, she began to realize maybe being an Olympic athlete wasn't her passion. She felt she didn't have the height or ability to be an Olympic swimmer.

However, she realized she could still have an Olympic dream. She soon started to get into soccer. In 1997, Tronson was able to take a trip with her family to Colorado Springs, Colo. where the Olympic training center is located.

"It was amazing, the gyms, the pool, the track, the science, everything. And then I realized that's what I want to do. I want to work with Olympic athletes," she said. "Deep in my heart the dream of being a part of the Olympics came."

While she was there, the U.S. Men's Volleyball team was training. Tronson had no idea at that time in her life, she would eventually be working and training the future Men's Volleyball team. She calls it a foreshadow for what was to come.

After the family trip, Tronson came back and realized she wasn't tall or fast enough to be a great athlete but she was determined to be the best with what she had. She would wake up early before school and hit the weight room to workout. Once she knew she needed more knowledge on how to make herself faster and stronger she started doing independent studies.

Tronson said she still has the notebooks from everything she taught herself about training in her current office.

In high school, she participated in soccer, basketball, and track. All three teams made it to state at one point giving, Tronson the experience of a higher level of competition. In her senior year she was able to compete in track at the national level.

Tronson believes her experiences, and those who supported her through those experiences, have made her who she is today.

"I will tell you Cashmere is unique, it is special, do not change. There are too many places in this world where kids do not have community support. They do not understand what it means to be on a team and what time that it takes to put into your commitment, experiences you go through, the attitude of winning and pursuing excellence. Lastly, the motivation to accept, the motivation to keep going, the whole word team means a support system," Tronson told the Cashmere Rotary at their Sept. 26 meeting. "Thirteen years ago you guys were my support system, my team. The team allows the dreams to come true."

In high school, Tronson was also awarded the Wendy's Heisman, an award given out to one athlete male and female in each state of the nation. She was first team all-state in soccer both her junior and senior year. She was a four year captain, playing in three state soccer tournaments and placed second in state track in the javelin.

After graduating from high school in 2001, Tronson went to Biola University in Los Angeles, Calif. on a soccer scholarship. She continued to work out hard and train while she received her physical education degree in 2005.

While at Biola, Tronson led the soccer team program during her senior year as captain. The team won their first and only conference title with Tronson. She also competed on their track and field team where she placed 15th in the nation her junior year. She was a two time Academic All-American in both soccer and track and field while at Biola.

When Tronson graduated, she was awarded the Outstanding Physical Education student for the university as selected by the professors.

During fall of 2005, Tronson was student teaching, and to pay the bills, she had a weekend job as a trainer for CATZ, a sports training center. Even though she was student teaching in Orange County, she would make the drive to Pasadena, Calif. to work for CATZ because she was passionate about it.

In 2006, Tronson was asked if she wanted to work at the new CATZ facility in Anaheim, Calif. She accepted the job because it was closer to her home. but she was unaware accepting the offer would help her achieve her goal of working with Olympic athletes.

When Tronson went to work at the new facility, she found out she would be training the U.S. Men's Volleyball team.

"I couldn't believe it. They are between the height of 6-foot and 7-foot-1. I am 5-foot-3 a female in the strength and conditioning world. They gathered around me in a circle and I said ok let's go. That was the start of my training with the U.S. Men's Volleyball team," Tronson said.

While working at CATZ, Tronson received her Master's degree from Cal State Fullerton in Exercise Physiology in 2009.

As far as training professional athletes, Tronson said it is important to build relationships, build trust, and explain to them what they will be doing to reach a specific end goal. She said you have to make the athlete understand you are in it for the long haul and have they same vision as the athlete.

A year later, Tronson met Misty Mae-Trainer, a beach volleyball legend and mutiple gold medal winner. It only took Mae-Trainer one workout with Tronson to know she wanted Tronson as her trainer. The two soon became great friends and worked together to get Mae-Trainer in the best shape she had ever been in.

Tronson watched Mae-Trainer take home the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and win the Gold again in 2012, and has continued to help her train.

"You have to motivate them and keep them going. There are times when they don't want to stay in the grind it's my job to keep pushing and supporting them," Tronson said. "That's the same thing that needs to happen in this community and that is what I have had in my life. The power of a dream is incredible if you keep going."

Tronson now lives in Seattle where she manages a CATZ branch and is the assistant coach for the Northwest University Women's soccer team. In early September, she finished a half Iron man in fourth place. She continues her dream to train Olympic athletes.

Kacie Thrift may be reached at 548-5286 or reporter@cashmerevalleyrecord.com.



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