Thursday, April 12, 2007

ABA National Titles Wrap Up

Namoi Valley Archers reputation as one of the most successful clubs in Australia was enhanced after an outstanding performance by the twenty two member team who attended the 2007 Australian Field Archery Championships held in Wagga Wagga over the Easter weekend. Two disciplines were contested over the four day tournament with over 350 competitors participating in the ABA National round which was held over four rounds and 280 competitors participating in the Australian 3D round which was also held over four rounds making this tournament the largest gathering of archers in the Southern Hemisphere in 2007.
Namoi Valley Archers returned with 8 gold and 4 bronze medals in the ABA National round and 8 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze medals in the Australian 3D round. Seven local archers finished the tournament with gold in both disciplines, the ‘magnificent seven’ include senior archers Wade Hudson and Greg Donovan, juniors Josh Dolbel, Cameron Hill and Katie Patrick, cubs Sebastian Donovan and Christopher Patrick.
Namoi Valley Archer’s status as the top club in Northern NSW was underlined with Wade Hudson, Ken Hill and Stuart Dolbel, being selected in the winning Northern NSW Branch ABA team, and Wade Hudson, Steve Jaeger and Jodi Dolbel being selected in the winning Northern NSW Branch 3D team.

Competitors at the Australian Championships rated the ranges used for the tournament among the most difficult and highly technical they had encountered with designers making every shot a real test of the archers mental and physical ability with competitors who competed in both events faced the exhausting task of shooting two rounds of ABA and one round of 3D on both the second and third day of the tournament.

ABA National Round
Wade Hudson scored a stunning win in the Compound A grade division winning his first Australian title as a senior archer with an incredible 130 point winning margin. Hudson was 2 points behind the leader after the first round then unleashed an incredible second round to leave the field floundering in his wake. Hudson built on his lead over the final two rounds to become the first senior barebow archer from the club to win the national A grade crown. With this win Hudson has stamped himself as one of the elite barebow compound archers in the country, a remarkable achievement for an archer still only 17 years of age. Greg Donovan scored his first Australian title in Bowhunter Limited producing a top class performance to grab the gold showing outstanding mental toughness in his first outing at a major tournament. The unassuming Donovan only took delivery of a new bow ten days before the tournament but quickly adapted to the new equipment and based on this performance has taken his archery to a new level. Michael Patrick called on all his experience to win the Recurve C grade crown turning a overnight deficit into a very narrow 8 point win in a gritty battle over the final two rounds.

Jodi Dolbel finished with the bronze in Ladies Freestyle Unlimited after a very tense battle. Dolbel was with leaders over the first three rounds with the top two only pulling away on the final round.

The club’s outstanding group of young archers turned in a superb performance to claim a swag of medals. Josh Dolbel led the way with a brilliant performance to win Junior Freestyle Unlimited shooting with incredible consistency to hold of a strong challenge from members of the Hunter Academy of Sport to grab a very well deserved win.

Cameron Hill showed his liking for the big stage scoring an impressive win in Junior Bowhunter Limited with a very consistent performance. Katie Patrick was never headed on her way to winning the gold medal in Junior Girls Recurve D grade while Amy Stubbs collected her first Austraslian medal with bronze in Junior Girls Compound C grade with an encouraging performance. Sebastian Donovan simply blew the opposition away scoring a massive win in Cub Boys Freestyle Limited. Donovan would have still won the title by a good margin even if he didn’t contest the last round such was his dominance. Christopher Patrick added to the gold rush with a good win in Cub Boy Compound C grade with Meg Jaeger, Cub Girl Freestyle Limited and Sammy Patrick, Cub Girl Recurve D grade also winning bronze medals.

The Australian 3D Round
Wade Hudson scored his second gold medal for the tournament with a hard fought win in Compound A grade. Hudson held the lead after the first round only to slip behind after round two but a fine third round had Hudson back in the lead. Showing maturity beyond his years Hudson then shut the gate on his opponents with the best barebow round of the competition to storm to a brilliant victory. Hudson has made the difficult look easy making an effortless transition from the Junior ranks to the Senior ranks and left many seasoned competitors stunned with his performance these Australian Championships. Greg Donovan also scored his second National Title with another very consistent performance across the four rounds in Bowhunter Limited. Amazingly Donovan scored three rounds of 370 and one round of 362 to leave the field in his wake with a superb performance.

Jodi Dolbel showed fantastic mental toughness to score a very hard fought win in Ladies Freestyle Unlimited. Dolbel had to fight off a very strong last round challenge fro 3D specialist, Linda Wagner to claim a very cherished Australian Title in a memorable performance. Darrell Hudson was another archer who toughed it out over the final two rounds to grab a bronze medal in Recurve B grade while Michael Patrick grabbed silver in Recurve C grade. Ken Hill turned in the performance of his life to grab the bronze medal in the always competitive B grade Compound division with a very consistent showing across the four rounds in a wonderful result on the national stage.
Josh Dolbel blitzed the opposition to grab his second gold for the weekend in Junior Freestyle Unlimited with his trademark consistency while Cameron Hill also achieved the double winning Junior Bowhunter Limited with a top class performance. Katie Patrick finished with her second gold in Junior Recurve D grade as did younger brother Christopher in Cub Compound C grade. Amy Stubbs shot extremely well to finish with a bronze in Junior Compound C grade. Sebastian Donovan was unstoppable as he stormed his second gold in Cub Freestyle Limited in another high class exhibition of archery with Jackelyen Patrick grabbing a silver in Cub Girls Compound D grade with a determined showing. Sammy Patrick won the silver in Cub D grade Recurve and Meg Jaeger the bronze in Cub Girl Freestyle Limited. Special mention must be made of the performance of Steve Jaeger who has only made the switch to the ultra competitive Freestyle Unlimited ranks. Jjaeger shot extremely well to finish sixth in the ABA event and fourth in the 3D event and as he gains more experience in this division he will become a major contender at future National tournaments.